ED may quiz Raveendran early next week

Agency to serve a notice for the third time after he failed to turn up at its office twice

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is likely to question C.M. Raveendran, Additional Private Secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, early next week as part of its probe into the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case.

The agency is expected to serve a notice for the third time to Mr. Raveendran on Monday after he failed to turn up at its office here twice. A day after issuing the notice asking him to appear on November 6, Mr. Raveendran informed the investigating team that he tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

The ED received a communication from him last week stating that he tested negative. The agency served a second notice to him asking to appear for questioning on Friday. However, Mr. Raveendran did not turn up after he was admitted at Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, citing follow-up treatment. He was reportedly discharged from the hospital on Friday amidst criticism from the Opposition that he was evading interrogation.

The ED raids at three business establishments in Vadakara on Friday triggered speculations that the agency was stepping up its probe against Mr. Raveendran even though the sleuths remained tight-lipped on whether it had any connection with him.

The agency wanted to quiz the Chief Minister’s additional private secretary following the arrest and subsequent interrogation of M. Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary to Chief Minister. It is learnt that they are keen to probe his role in the allotment and funding for some of the flagship projects initiated by the Information Technology Department. The agency will also investigate whether Mr. Raveendran had any links with Swapna Suresh, the key accused in the gold smuggling case.

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