Kochi: A new name — Smt. Resyunni — has cropped up in the diplomatic parcel gold smuggling case. The name appears in a new charge sheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate (EC) against M Sivasankar in connection with the alleged money laundering activities related to the case.
The chargesheet has details of Sivasankar's daily WhatsApp chats with Resyunni regarding the alleged Rs 80 lakh scam involving the controversial consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and about all the news connected to the gold smuggling case.
However, the agency has not provided details about who Resyunni is. Also, among the many people who have given statements in connection with the case, there has been no one with that name.
The only clue about the person it could be a woman because of the use of Smt (Sreemati) before the name in the charge sheet.
According to the charge sheet, Sivasankar had detailed chats with Resyunni about Sarith Kumar and Swapna Suresh, the accused in the gold smuggling case.
The ED has also got information that Sivasankar had recommended Unitac Builders to many after receiving a bribe of Rs 1.08 crore in the Wadakancherry Life Mission deal. Unitac is said to have been selected as the builder for the project after it allegedly paid commissions and bribes of crores of rupees to many government officials and intermediaries.
Sivasankar did not answer questions regarding this, the charge sheet says.
Earlier, the ED had filed a charge sheet against Swapna Suresh, P S Sarith and Sandeep Nair in the gold smuggling case. It filed a supplementary charge sheet after it found Sivasankar's deep involvement in the case.
The charge sheet has included Sivasankar's statement that Swapna had gifted him an iPhone on his last birthday and an expensive watch on his birthday in 2018.
When the ED asked Sivasankar if it was not illegal for an IAS officer to accept such expensive gifts, he replied that there was nothing wrong in taking birthday presents from close relatives and family friends.
Here are the details of the WhatsApp messages included as part of the charge sheet:
WhatsApp messages dated April 2, 2019, revealed that Sivasankar had contacted Customs officials to get a diplomatic parcel released. This was confirmed by Varghese George of Capitans, a customs clearing agency in Kochi.
When the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram was called about the Customs holding up the diplomatic parcel, PS Sarith picked up the phone. Soon, a phone call was made to the Customs House office on Wellington Island.
At that time, even though the Customs had decided to open the diplomatic parcel to inspect it, it released the parcel without any examination after receiving Sivasankar's phone call.
Sivasankar and Swapna shared the phone numbers of Jesto and Satheesh, who were connected to CIAL (Cochin International Airport), through WhatsApp. When asked if he knew them, Sivasankar replied that he did not.
In another message Sivasankar sent to Swapna, he said, "Do not interfere in these matters any more."
When he was asked about a message to her that said, 'If something goes wrong, they will put the blame on you,' Sivasankar replied that he did not remember the context in which it was sent.