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Kerala has become 'hub' of smuggling gold, alleges Chennithala

Sharpening his attack against the CPI(M)-led LDF government over the sensational gold smuggling case, Congress veteran Ramesh Chennithala has alleged Kerala has become a 'hub' of smuggling of the yellow metal and wants the NIA to expand its ambit of probe. With the premier investigating agency probing the case, having arrested key accused, including the alleged kingpin Swapna Suresh, Chennithala said NIA should investigate the possible role of government officials.

Referring to the removal of IAS officer M Sivasankar as principal secretary to the Chief Minister and IT Secretary after his name emerged in the case, the senior Congress leader alleged that the action itself speaks about the link of the gold smuggling mafia with the state government.

"The Chief Minister was forced to remove the officer from the post of his principal secretary following the emergence of some telling evidence of his links with Swapna," Chennithala told .

"I don't think any state government agency would carry out a free and fair probe into the illegal nexus between mafia and ruling dispensation," he alleged.

Therefore, the NIA should expand its probe in the case covering the possible role of the higher ups in the state government, he said.

Suresh, a former employee of the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram, is among the four accused booked by the NIA in the smuggling of 30 kg of gold through diplomatic baggage, which arrived at the Thiruvananthapuram International airport on July 5

Courtesy - The Economic Times

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