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LIFE Mission scam: Sivasankar requests ED to postpone questioning

Earlier, the ED had recorded the statements of gold smuggling accused Swapna Suresh and Sarith.

Statesman News Service | Thiruvananthapuram |

M Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who has been directed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to appear before the agency on Tuesday for interrogation in connection with the alleged irregularities in foreign aid received for the LIFE Mission housing project, has requested the agency to postpone the date as he would be retiring from service on Tuesday.

The ED, which is probing money laundering in the Wadakkanchery LIFE Mission project funded by the UAE Red Crescent, issued notice to M Sivasankar to appear for interrogation on Tuesday. Following his request, the ED would be issuing a fresh summons to Sivasankar soon.

Earlier, the ED had recorded the statements of gold smuggling accused Swapna Suresh and Sarith. They alleged that Sivasankar intervened to get the Life Mission contract for Unitac. The ED has also interrogated Unitac owner Santhosh Eapen in the case.

The ED filed a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act following the disclosure of Unitac owner Santosh Eapen that he had paid a bribe of Rs 4 crore 48 lakhs to get the Life Mission contract.

The Life Mission case is related to the construction of an apartment complex at Wadakkanchery in 2019. It has been alleged a major portion of the fund was diverted as commission to officials of the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) first registered the case after it was found that the fund was accepted from the UAE Red Crescent violating Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA). Based on CBI FIR, ED registered a money laundering case in 2021.