Customs arrests Sivasankar in dollar smuggling case

Kochi: The Customs on Thursday arrested suspended IAS officer M Sivasankar in the dollar smuggling case that came to light during the probe into the gold smuggling racket.

Sivasankar is an accused in the gold smuggling case also.

The arrest of Sivasankar was recorded at a jail here, where he is lodged under judicial custody since his arrest by the Customs and the Enforcement Directorate in cases related to smuggling of gold through diplomatic channel.

Hours earlier, the Customs secured permission of a court here to arrest the IAS officer in connection with the case related to alleged smuggling of USD 1,90,000 (equivalent to Rs 1.30 crore) by a former finance head of the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram to Muscat in Oman.

Prime accused in the gold smuggling case Swapna Suresh and Sarith P S are also allegedly involved in the dollar case and had already been arrested by the Customs.

Earlier, the Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate moved a plea in the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate's (Economic Offences) Court in Ernakulam seeking its permission to arrest Sivasankar.

Sivasankar, former principal secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, was suspended after his links to Suresh, also a former employee of the consulate, surfaced.

The Customs on January 8 had recorded the statement of Kerala Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan's assistant private secretary in connection with the dollar smuggling case.

(With inputs from PTI)

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