Kerala CM, Consul General meets breached protocol, says Customs

The Customs, which is probing the infamous gold smuggling case in Kerala, has alleged serious breach of protocols in meetings of the UAE Consul General and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

There is also a reference that their investigations have unearthed illegal dealings of some state ministers with the UAE Consulate, as per the show cause notice to three top former UAE officials working at the UAE Consulate, including the Consul General, the Attache, and the Chief Accountant.

The Customs claims that there were serious breach of protocols in meetings organised by the Consul General through gold smuggling prime accused Swapna Suresh, and suspended IAS officer and former top Vijayan aide, M. Sivasankar, with Vijayan at the residences of both.

Incidentally such meetings had bypassed the state protocols and also the Ministry of External Affairs, says the note of the Customs.

According to sources, the Customs is getting ready to file its complete charge sheet in the gold smuggling case shortly and the show cause notices are part of it.

Soon after the gold smuggling case broke out, the three top officials in the UAE Consulate, now in the dock, had left the country.

The gold smuggling case surfaced on July 5 last year, with the arrest of P.R. Sarith, a former UAE Consulate staffer, and then came the arrest of another former staffer, Swapna Suresh, who afterwards worked in the Kerala IT Department’s Space Park.

Things went bad for Vijayan, when the Enforcement Directorate arrested Sivasankar, who is now out of bail after few months in jail.