Customs takes Sivasankar to hospital

He complained of uneasiness when the agency team reached his house

A team of Customs officers rushed M. Sivasankar, the former Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, to a private hospital here after he complained of uneasiness on Friday evening.

The officers had reportedly arrived at the IAS officer’s house to escort him to the Customs House here. The hospital authorities admitted Mr. Sivasankar to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit after he complained of chest pain. An initial report suggested that the doctors had diagnosed Mr. Sivasankar with elevated blood pressure and an erratic heart rate.

The Customs reportedly wanted to question Mr. Sivasankar on suspicion of aiding gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh to spirit away a vast sum of foreign currency from the country to Dubai during one of their alleged joint travel.

It was unclear whether the agency has named Mr. Sivasankar as an accused in the currency smuggling case under the provisions of the Customs Act or wanted to arrest him.

The Customs was reportedly in possession of statements from Swapna’s accomplices in the economic offence that she used her trips with Mr. Sivasankar to Dubai as a cover for foreign currency smuggling.

The agency "suspected" that the currency smuggling could be a component of a hawala operation to compensate the Dubai end of the international gold smuggling racket. An investigator said Mr. Sivasankar’s presence could have given Swapna a measure of cover for her alleged illegal activities.

They were perusing immigration records and air passenger manifestos of their "joint travel" to foreign countries find if there was any culpability on the part of Mr. Sivasankar.

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