I have not taken a single rupee from Life Mission commission: Sivasankar

Kochi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has collected details of the revelations former principal secretary to the chief minister M Sivasankar made to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) recently regarding the 'bank locker assets' of Swapna Suresh, one of the prime accused in the gold smuggling case.

The CBI had earlier examined Sivasankar's statements given to the NIA and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) about foreign financial aid for the Life Mission project.

Swapna knew the details of the talks held in the UAE by a delegation led by Sivasankar on behalf of the state government for seeking foreign assistance for flood relief.

After the state delegation returned to Kerala, Swapna held parallel discussions using her connections in the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram. This was the beginning of her dealings for commission done under the cover of the Life Mission project.

The investigation teams believe Sivasankar was also aware of her dealings.

But, Sivasankar said the advice he got was that the commission paid to intermediaries helping raise foreign funds for assistance is not considered illegal.

Sivasankar, in his statements to the agencies, said that he has not taken a single rupee from the amount paid as commission and that the money and gold found in the locker of Swapna belonged only to her.

He said the chartered accountant who helped Swapna open the bank lockers was his acquaintance. It was Swapna who asked to be introduced to a chartered accountant who could be trusted and who could provide legal advice on the financial transactions at the UAE Consulate, Sivasankar said. That is why he introduced to her someone whom he knew personally, he said.

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