Sivasankar feared Swapna would flee with money: ED

Sivasankar feared Swapna would flee with money: ED
Swapna Suresh, M Sivasankar

Kochi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has informed the High Court that arrested bureaucrat M Sivasankar had involved his chartered accountant for bank transactions as he feared that Swapna Suresh would flee taking away all the money stashed.  

The ED reiterated that the money and other items found in Swapna's locker belonged to Sivasankar.

The ED made these contentions while the court was considering Sivasankar's bail plea. After the completion of arguments, Justice Ashok Bhushan posted the case for orders.

Sivasankar's advocate said the investigations into the gold smuggling case have been going on for a long time and the investigation agency has not announced anything conclusively about the crime so far.

ED's arguments

Additional solicitor general S V Raju, who appeared for ED, told the court that Sivasankar used Swapna for keeping the money in safe custody. His conduct clearly indicates that the money belonged to him. Swapna, who was without any means of livelihood, did not have the capability to amass Rs 64 lakh and 100 sovereigns of gold.

Sivasankar asked the chartered accountant to open a joint account with Swapna and keep him informed about the transactions as the money belonged to him.

The probe is at a crucial stage and granting bail at this juncture could pave the way for destruction of evidence and influencing the witnesses. Sivasankar is not cooperating with the probe. Swapna had disclosed earlier that she had not revealed the name of Sivasankar as she was afraid of him.

The statements given by Swapna on December 15 and 16, and the statements given by Sivasankar on December 18 and Sarith on December 17, would be handed over to the court in a sealed cover.

Sivasankar's defence

Supreme Court lawyer Jaideep Gupta who appeared for Sivasankar said the ED was giving wrong information regarding WhatsApp messages. "It was not Sivasankar but chartered accountant Venugopal who said that money be kept in the locker and a joint account be opened for the purpose. Sivasankar had no control over this locker. Did Swapna become fearful of Sivasankar after giving successive statements? The ED should tell clearly what all allegations are against his client. Sivasankar has been in custody for months now. Several agencies are investigating but so far the facts have not been unearthed," Gupta argued.

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