PMLA special court in Kochi on Thursday sent Kerala CM’s former principal secretary M Sivasankar to 14-day judicial custody in connection with a money laundering case related to the smuggling of gold through diplomatic channels. It passed the order after the expiry of his 14-day ED custody. The agency opposed his bail application on Thursday.

Appearing for the ED, S V Raju, the additional solicitor general of India, submitted that the money found in the bank lockers of Swapna Suresh was the kickbacks meant for Sivasankar. He said the agency initially thought the money was proceeds of the crime of gold smuggling through diplomatic channel.

The ED arrived at such a conclusion after being misled by the accused. However, probe revealed the money was part of the commission for the LIFE Mission housing project meant for Sivasankar.

B. Raman Pillai and S. Rajeev, counsels for Sivasankar, countered ED’s arguments, saying the allegation was raised based only on the statements given by Swapna Suresh, prime accused in the gold smuggling case, during her custodial interrogation. There were only vague and imaginary allegations against the accused and the investigation agency was moving ahead with some intentions to target someone in the case, they argued.