Distribution of dates: Customs to question former social justice dept chiefs

Distribution of dates: Customs to question former social justice dept chiefs

Thiruvananthapuram: The Customs team, probing the distribution of dates in the state by the UAE Consulate in 2017, has decided to question the then chiefs at the social justice department and general administration department. Even retired officials will be questioned.

The Customs has shot off missives to both the departments, seeking information on where the dates were distributed. The details have to be submitted before September 30. After receiving the details, the officials will be summoned for questioning.

The Customs had earlier received information that gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh and P S Sarith had been to the port in Kochi to receive the dates that arrived in the container in 2017.

The Customs will question the duo in this case too. The probe team had found that Swapna had distributed the dates among seniors at the Secretariat and certain police officers in the state capital.

A multi-agency probe was initiated after the Customs seized 30kg gold from a diplomatic baggage addressed to the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram in July.

The Customs will also question higher education department officials in connection with the suspicious activities at the C-apt (Kerala State Centre for Advanced Printing & Training) over the distribution of holy books. A notice would be sent to the higher education department secretary.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had also found discrepancies in the statements of the C-apt employees. These will be further scrutinised.

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