Kerala gold smuggling case: Customs submits 3,000-page charge sheet

After 15 long months, the Customs on Friday submitted a 3,000-page charge sheet in the infamous Kerala gold smuggling case at the economic offences court here.

The Customs have arraigned 29 people as accused in the case which hogged the headlines ever since top bureaucrat and Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Pinnarayi Vijayan — M. Sivasankar was arrested. After spending several months in jail, he is now out on bail and stands suspended from the service.

According to sources, the charge sheet has arraigned Sivasankar as the 29th accused for failing to take any action despite being aware of the happenings.

It also mentions that the probe, however, did not lead to any evidence of using the money raised through smuggling gold for any terrorist activities.

The 29 people include those who were directly involved in carrying gold, those who bought it and those who acted as agents.

The smuggling case came to light on July 5, 2020, when the Customs arrested Sarith, a former employee of the UAE Consulate here, for allegedly smuggling gold in a diplomatic baggage destined for the Consulate.

Swapna Suresh, who was a former employee of the UAE Consulate, and her associate Sandip Nair were arrested by the National Investigation Agency from Bengaluru a few days later.

While Sarith is the first accused, Swapna is second and Sandeep is the third accused.