Life Mission bribery case: Unitac MD Santhosh Eapen gets bail

Unitac MD Santhosh Eapen. Photo: Manorama

Kochi: A court on Monday granted bail to Unitac MD Santhosh Eapen over the Life Mission bribery case. The bail was granted on a bond of Rs 1 lakh.

Santhosh Eapen’s advocate submitted the bail petition as he was produced in the court on the conclusion of his custody period. Though the Enforcement Directorate (ED) opposed the bail plea, the court granted bail accepting the contention that he was co-operating with the probe.

Kunnamkulam native and owner of Unitac Santhosh Eapen is the first accused in the bribery case involving Rs 4.50 crore connected to the Rs 19 crore given by the Red Crescent, UAE, for the Life Mission Housing Scheme devised for the 2018 flood-affected in Wadakkancherry. The ED arrested Santhosh Eapen after summoning him for questioning on March 20.

The case against Santhosh Eapen is that he withdrew the money given by Red Crescent for the Life Mission project from the bank even before the start of the project and converted it into dollars and supplied to the Chief Minister’s former Prinicipal Secretary M Sivasankar and UAE Consulate officials, among others. Santhosh Eapen is also the first accused in the case registered by the CBI for accepting foreign donations without informing the Central Government.

Santhosh Eapen bought four phones, each costing over Rs 1 lakh, and gave them to Swapna Suresh, the prime accused in the case. The Customs officials recovered one of them from Sivasankar. The ED has also come to the conclusion that the Rs 1 crore recovered from the joint bank locker of Swapna Suresh and Venugopal, the private chartered accountant of Sivasankar, was given by Santhosh Eapen.

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