Kochi (Kerala) [India], December 30 (ANI): Former principal secretary of the Kerala Chief Minister's Office, M Sivasankar travelled to UAE seven times along with Kerala gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh, Customs department on Tuesday said in a submission to the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court (Economic Offences).
"'All the seven times, they stayed in five-star hotels in UAE and Sivasankar had personally borne the accommodation expenses. These trips were made with hidden intentions and the same are being probed by the agency. A senior IAS officer making that many trips to the same country is highly unusual," said Customs.
It added that gold smuggling activities carried out by the accused with Sivasankar's help have affected the friendly relationship between India and UAE, a country that gives employment to a large number of Indians.
"The functioning of UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram has come to a standstill following the incident, which is not congenial to the maintenance of the good relations with the Gulf country," it stated further.
The case, which is currently being probed by the ED, the National Investigation Agency, and the Customs Department, pertains to the smuggling of gold in the state through diplomatic channels.
The matter had come to light after 30 kilograms of gold worth Rs 14.82 crores, smuggled through diplomatic cargo, was busted by the Customs in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5. (ANI)