Kochi: Investigations have found that the costliest iPhone of the six that were given as commission for the construction contract of the Life Mission project in Wadakkanchery has been returned to Unitac MD Santosh Eapen.
The investigation team is trying to find out who all used this phone so far.
According to Eapen’s new statement given to the investigating agencies, the iPhone worth Rs 1.14 lakh was gifted to the UAE Consul General who returned it asking for a better phone. He said that he bought another more expensive iPhone instead and gave it to the consul general.
Another phone worth Rs 1 lakh bought along with this phone was being used by M Sivasankar, the chief minister’s former principal secretary who has been suspended for his alleged links to the accused in the Trivandrum airport gold smuggling case.
During a celebration at the consulate, Praveen, the owner of an advertising company, Padmanabha Sharma, a manager with Air Arabia, Rajeevan, additional protocol officer, and Jithu, a native of Kollam, also received iPhones as gifts.
The first six phones were bought from Kochi and another one from Thiruvananthapuram.
In the affidavit filed in the High Court, Eapen had made a mention of only five iPhones.
The CBI and the ED are examining the discrepancies in his statements.
iPhone was a gift for Sivasankar: Swapna
An iPhone was given to M Sivasankar as a gift, Swapna Suresh, one of the main accused in the gold smuggling case, has told the Vigilance in her statement.
Only Padmanabha Sharma and Praveen were given a phone through a lottery during the UAE National Day celebrations at the Consulate, she said.
According to Swapna's statement, it was the Consul General who gave the phone to the protocol officer.