Kochi (Kerala) [India], March 6 (ANI): The Customs department served notice to Vinodini Balakrishnan, wife of former Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, asking her to appear before it in Kochi office on March 10th.
The Customs alleged that she used an iPhone which was given by Unitac Builders' MD Santosh Eapen which was brought as a gift for guests who attend UAE National Day celebrations on December 2, 2019.
It was bought on the suggestion of Swapna Suresh, accused in the Gold Smuggling Case.
Santosh Eapen had earlier submitted an affidavit in Kerala High Court which said five iPhones were bought as gift to guests who attended the UAE National Day celebrations, which was held on December 2, 2019.
The Kerala gold smuggling case, which is being probed by the National Investigation Agency along with the Enforcement Directorate and the customs department, pertains to the smuggling of gold in the state through diplomatic channels.
The matter had come to light after 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crores, smuggled in a consignment camouflaged as diplomatic baggage, was busted by customs in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5.
The Customs Department had also arrested Unitac Builders MD Santhosh Eappen also in a US Dollar smuggling case.
He was later granted bail by the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) Court in Kochi, hours after the arrest. The Customs Department did not oppose his bail plea in the court.
Earlier this month, the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) Court had granted bail to the former principal secretary to the Kerala Chief Minister's office, M Sivasankar, who was in judicial custody for over three months in Kerala gold smuggling case. (ANI)