LIFE Mission scam: Vigilance to get data retrieved from gadgets

Express News Service

KOCHI: The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) will receive the crucial data retrieved from the mobile phones and other electronic gadgets of Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair, accused in the case related to smuggling of gold through the diplomatic channel. The digital content would be provided to VACB for the probe into the LIFE Mission Wadakkanchery project corruption. 

The digital content especially retrieved from the mobile phones is crucial as it would shed light on the role of former principal secretary M Sivasankar and the kickback he allegedly received as part of the LIFE Mission project. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) probing money laundering angle in the gold smuggling case arrested Sivasankar on the basis of the WhatsApp chats retrieved from the mobile phones of Swapna. 

The VACB had approached the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Court in Kochi to get the digital content. As part of it, the court heard NIA which did not object to providing the content to VACB. Accordingly, the court permitted VACB to get the content.  “It was C-DAC, Thiruvananthapuram, which retrieved the digital content from the mobile phones of Swapna and Sandeep. The VACB has to approach C-DAC following the permission granted by the court to receive its copies,” a VACB official said. The petition was filed by DySP M Anil Kumar of VACB Special Investigation Unit, Thiruvananthapuram. 

Swapna’s voice clip: CB quizzing to be delayed
The Crime Branch will have to wait for some more time to record Swapna Suresh’s statement pertaining to her leaked voice clip as she was taken to Kochi for interrogation by the customs in connection with the gold smuggling case.  The customs has also not given its nod to the Crime Branch for questioning her in the Attakulangara Women’s Prison in the capital where she is lodged in judicial custody. Swapna was taken to the customs office in Kochi on Wednesday night from the Attakulangara prison for a combined interrogation of her, other gold smuggling accused.  Sources close to the Crime Branch said they can record the statement only after Swapna returns to the Attakulangara prison. 

LIFE Mission project: HC seeks govt view
The Kerala High Court on Thursday sought the response of the state government on a petition filed by Anil Akkara, MLA, seeking a directive to complete the construction of LIFE Mission housing project in Wadakkancherry. A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chali will hear the case after three weeks. The court also issued a notice to the state government. 

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