Kochi (Kerala) [India], February 16 (ANI): The Customs Department in Kochi on Tuesday arrested Unitac Builders MD Santhosh Eappen in the US Dollar smuggling case.
Eappen is the fifth accused in the smuggling case.
He was later granted bail by the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) Court in Kochi, hours after the arrest. The Customs Department did not oppose his bail plea in the court.
Eappen had earlier entered a contract for building the apartments for the homeless people under the Kerala Government Life Mission project.
This comes as the Unitac MD also has an FIR filed against him in the Life Mission scam, which pertains to spending the foreign fund against the purpose, for which it was aimed. Congress MLA Anil Akkara had filed a complaint to the CBI alleging that various middlemen including state representatives and government officials received Rs 4.5 crores as commission.
Meanwhile, the dollar smuggling came to light during the investigation of the Kerala gold smuggling case, which is currently being probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the Enforcement Directorate (ED), and the Customs department.
The matter, which pertains to the smuggling of gold in the state through diplomatic channels, had come to light after 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crores smuggled in a consignment camouflaged as diplomatic baggage was busted by the Customs in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5, 2020.
Earlier this month, the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) Court had granted bail to former principal secretary to the Kerala Chief Minister's office, M Sivasankar, who was in judicial custody for over three months in Kerala gold smuggling case. (ANI)