Thiruvananthapuram: As the probe into the diplomatic gold smuggling case unfolded, three phones once used by arrested bureaucrat M Sivasankar were found to be crucial. The cyberwing of the central probe agencies have reportedly now traced one of the two missing ones.
Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Customs have started the process of collecting digital evidence from the new phone. The information collected will be passed on to the NIA.
As ED and Customs question him in custody Sivasankar will now have to clarify on the records from the recovered phone.
Attempts have begun to trace the third one too.
Earlier Sivasankar had informed the central agencies that he possessed only one phone. However, when the agencies probed the source of WhatsApp messages sent to the phone of accused Swapna Suresh, they realised that he had two more phones.
She had also told interrogators that Sivasankar used two other numbers and they were used mostly to contact her and the talks were primarily through WhatsApp calls.
Based on her disclosure, the central agency conducted a probe and traced the second phone. Though initially he denied possessing the second phone, when confronted with evidence Sivasankar reportedly gave in.
It is learnt that soon after the arrest of Swapna and gang, Sivasankar handed over the phone to one of his relatives.
The investigation agencies got decisive information about Sivasankar's links with the gold smuggling case accused when the WhatsApp chats deleted from his first phone were retrieved with the help of C-DAC.
Interrogation still on
Both Swapna and Sivasankar are in Customs custody now.
Swapana and co-accused P S Sarith were jointly questioned by the investigation agency the other day. Some more details about Sivasankar were revealed by the duo.
Sarith has corroborated certain matters divulged by Swapna during the interrogation. However, Sivasankar has denied everything, Customs sources stated.
Based on the information provided by Swapna and Sarith, Sivasankar is likely to be arraigned as an accused in the dollar smuggling case too.
Sivasankar is reportedly not cooperating with the interrogation. The investigating agency will bring this matter to the notice of the court while seeking extension of his custody period.