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Kerala Gold Smuggling Case: Suspended IAS Officer Questioned by NIA, CM Remains Tight-lipped

Customs officials raid a jewellery shop in Kozhikode for their alleged involvement in Kerala gold smuggling case.(PTI image)

Customs officials raid a jewellery shop in Kozhikode for their alleged involvement in Kerala gold smuggling case.(PTI image)

Sivasankar was served notice and summoned by the probe agency this evening and shortly after, the former IT secretary appeared at the Peroorkada police club here, the sources said.

Suspended senior IAS officer M Sivasankar is being questioned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials here in connection with ongoing probe into the Gold smuggling case, sources said on Thursday.

Sivasankar was served notice and summoned by the probe agency this evening and shortly after, the former IT secretary appeared at the Peroorkada police club here, the sources said. After his close links with some accused in the gold smuggling case surfaced, Sivasankar was removed as the principal secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and IT secretary and later suspended.

The senior bureaucrat was questioned by Customs officers, which is also probing the case, for nearly nine hours, lasting till the early hours of July 15.

"The NIA is probing the case in detail; as part of the investigation they can reach anywhere. I have reacted on this earlier too, there is no need to repeat it," said Vijayan when asked for comments.

Action was taken against Sivasankar after allegations surfaced that he had links with the woman accused in the case related to the attempt to smuggle gold through diplomatic baggage using the name of a person in the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.

The Customs seized the gold, weighing over 30 kg and valued at around Rs 15 crore on July 5.

The National Investigation Agency, which has been entrusted with the probe into the case, has booked four accused-- Sarith, Swapna Suresh, Sandeep Nair and Fasil Fareed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.