Kochi – The Enforcement Directorate informed the High Court that M. Sivashankar, former Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, was the main planner of the money laundering transaction related to the Life Mission contract. Additional Solicitor General R. Shankaranarayanan, who appeared for the ED, said this during the argument against Sivashankar’s bail plea in the case. Justice A. Badaruddin adjourned the petition for hearing today after Sivashankar’s lawyer sought time.
The ED case alleges that out of the 19 crores given by the UAE Red Crescent, Santosh Eapan’s Unitac company won the construction contract of the Life Mission project by paying Rs 4.5 crore as bribe. Sivashankar is the 9th accused in the case. Santosh Eapan has admitted that he gave commissions to top government officials and consulate officials.
1.90 lakh dollars in bribe money was sent abroad, ED said. Crime proceeds need to be investigated. Converting money obtained through gold smuggling and bribery into dollars and sending it abroad through diplomatic channels is an act of terrorism. Sivashankar, who held high positions, is likely to destroy evidence and obstruct the investigation. The ED also opposed the grant of bail on the ground that he was ill.
The court verbally asked whether the dollar smuggling case cannot be investigated in connection with the earlier registered case. The contention that the FIR has been registered again on the same facts is false. The ED also stated that the gold smuggling case through the diplomatic channel and the Life Mission bribery case are two.
Swapna Suresh and Chartered Accountant Venugopal started Bank Locker following Sivashankar’s suggestion. Shivashankar is not cooperating with the investigation. According to the ED’s explanation, Sivashankar is trying to make it appear that there is politics in the investigation.
English Summary : Sivasankar mastermind in black money conversion in Life Mission project says Enforcement Directorate