Kerala: Go(l)d’s own country

Thiruvananthapuram: In a major twist to Kerala gold smuggling case, Rashid Khamis Al Sheimeili – acting in-charge of UAE consulate in India has reportedly fled from the country on Thursday.

Rashid was named by key accused Swapna Suresh for directing her to contact the Customs department about the delay in consignment.

Meanwhile, the family of the gunman of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE’s) consular attache has said he has been missing for the last two days, in another twist in the gold smuggling case in Kerala.

Jaya Ghosh’s relative said he had called them two days ago and that he received some threats around the same time as smugglers suspect he was the one who tipped the customs department about the hidden gold. They fear there is a threat to his life.

The Kerala government on Thursday suspended senior IAS officer M Sivasankar pending inquiry in connection with his alleged links with the accused in the sensational gold smuggling case.

On Wednesday, Sivasankar was grilled by the customs for nearly nine hours in the gold smuggling case in Kerala as the opposition had demanded his suspension.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that a high- level official probe was looking into allegations against Sivasankar, removed as his Principal Secretary and the I-T Secretary.

He said that his government would not protect any wrongdoer in the sensational case, also being investigated by the NIA.