Kochi: Investigation agencies have obtained evidence that Swapna Suresh, the main accused in the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case, had called M Sivasankar, the former principal secretary of the chief minister, three times between July 5 and July 10.
The gold smuggling through diplomatic baggage at the Trivandrum International Airport was uncovered on July 5 and Swpana was arrested on July 10. However, the new revelation has not shaken Sivasankar.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) questioned the accused in the case on Thursday on the basis of evidence that Swapna had made at least three phone calls seeking help before her arrest in Bengaluru. But, Sivasankar stuck to his stand that he did not help Swapna in smuggling gold.
During the many times he was questioned earlier, Sivasankar had not hidden from the investigating agencies the fact that Swapna had called him for help to get the diplomatic baggage released after it was detained by the Customs Department on June 30. He, however, denied that Swapna had sought his help after she left Thiruvananthapuram on learning about the arrest of the co-accused in the case, P S Sarith.
Swapna and another accused in the case Sandeep Nair were on the run from July 5 till July 10, when the two were arrested by the NIA from a serviced apartment hotel in Koramangala in Bengaluru.
The NIA interrogated both Sivasankar and Swapna at the same time in two rooms at its office on Thursday. It sought answers from the two to the 43 questions it had prepared before the interrogations.
Sivasankar was asked questions on the revelations made by Arun Balachandran, the chief minister’s former IT Fellow who had booked a flat on rent for Swapna and her family, and chartered accountant Venugopal Iyer, a close friend. His answer to most questions was that he did not know anything.