The customs department has again served notice to former Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan's wife Vinodini Balakrishnan asking her to appear before its Kochi office on March 30.
This is the third notice which the department has sent so far to the wife of CPI(M) state secretary who skipped the last two notices.
Earlier, the department had asked Balakrishnan to appear before it Kochi office on March 10.
The Customs department has 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 had earlier submitted an affidavit in the Kerala High Court which said five iPhones were bought as gifts 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 (NIA,) 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 last year.
The customs department had also arrested Unitac Builders MD Santhosh Eappen also in a US Dollar smuggling case.
( With inputs from ANI )
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