The Enforcement Directorate (ED), probing the money laundering angle in the Kerala gold smuggling case, conducted a raid at the headquarters of Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society (ULCCS) at Madappally near Vadakara in Kozhikode district for more than two hours on Monday morning.
The raid is related to the probe into the role of the chief minister’s additional private secretary CM Raveendran in sanctioning projects for ULCCS. Opposition parties had been alleging that Raveendran was the key person in providing projects to ULCCS, flouting norms. The raid was held from 9 am to 11.45 am on Monday.
Raveendran is under the ED scanner as part of the central agency’s investigation into the money laundering angle in the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case.
The agency has found that Raveendran has stake in 12 firms in Kozhikode and Kannur districts. The establishments include an electronic appliance shop, supermarket, mobile showroom, textiles shop and a tourist home. The agency reportedly found the deals involving Raveendran in its preliminary inspection conducted at the firms in the past two days.
ULCCS chairman Paleri Rameshan has, howver, dismissed media reports which stated that the society was raided by the ED. He said it was only a visit by ED enquiring some information.
In a statement, Rameshan said while it was true that the ED came to the society’s office, but only one officer came in and examined the records.
Meanwhile, the Left Front government in Kerala has banned PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Private Limited from participating in any project of the Electronics and Information Technology Department for a period of two years.
The ban was imposed citing appointment of an unqualified individual and severe lapses in following the contract conditions.
It was PwC that cleared the appointment of Kerala gold smuggling case prime accused Swapna Suresh as Operations Manager of the Space Park based on the alleged recommendation of M Sivasankar, the chief minister’s then principal secretary. Sivasankar is also arrested in the case. During investigation, it was found that Swapna’s graduation certificate was fake.