Sivasankar, Swapna met chartered accountant with bag containing Rs 30 lakh: ED

Swapna, Sarith visited Secretariat on days I was absent, Sivasankar tells NIA
Swapna Suresh, former principal secretary M Sivasankar.

Kochi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigating the Trivandrum Airport gold smuggling case has said that Sivasankar, the former principal secretary to the chief minister, had accompanied Swapna Suresh to the house of his chartered accountant Venugopal with a bag full of money.

The agency gave this information in the high court while opposing the anticipatory bail application filed by Sivasankar.

According to the ED, Venugopal told the agency that the two had visited him with Rs 30 lakh in the bag and that he was reluctant to handle the money. In his statement, Venugopal said that Swapna had tried to explain that the money came from a legal source and requested that it be kept in a locker, the ED told the court.

According to P Radhakrishnan, assistant director of the ED, the discussions took place in the presence of Sivasankar.

Sivasankar has also admitted in his statement that he had instructed Venugopal, a chartered accountant with whom he has been associated for more than 20 years, to help Swapna manage her finances.

Venugopal also told the agency that Sivasankar had come to his office with Swapna, introduced her to him and asked him to give her financial advice.

Venugopal said that Sivasankar had asked him to open a joint locker with Swapna and, accordingly, he opened the locker with her at SBI, Thiruvananthapuram, the ED told the court.

Sivasankar messaged Swapna throughout the day

Sivasankar admitted in his statements to the ED that he tried to help Swapna when her financial situation was bad and that he also tried to get her a job.

Sivasankar, who was very close to Swapna, used to send her WhatsApp messages all day long. Swapna discussed everything with him, the ED said.

Therefore, it is unlikely that Sivasankar did not know that Swapna was making money through gold smuggling and commission and bribery in UAE consulate contracts. A lot of facts about these dealings are yet to come out, the ED told the court.

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