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Tuesday
March 2021
4:21 AM IST
News Headlines
CM flays Rahul''s silence over Cong govt falling in party-ruled states        Kerala has become ''fundamentalists'' own country'' under CPI(M) rule, says Sitharaman        COVID-19 crisis far from over; 3rd wave to be more dangerous: CSIR official        Army cancels recruitment exam after paper leaked        Rahul dubs PM Modi a ''formidable enemy,'' vows to defeat him        ISRO launches DRDO''s satellite Sindhu Netra        On National Science Day, Modi asks citizens to practise Lab to Land mantra        UN Human Rights Office says 18 killed in Myanmar crackdown        FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson vaccine against Covid-19 for emergency use        ISL: Straight shootout for final playoff berth between Goa and Hyderabad        Comments against judges a disturbing new trend: Ravi Shankar Prasad        Syria airstrikes: President Biden protected US personnel, facilities, says White House        DGCA extends suspension of scheduled international passenger flights till February 28        Rahul launches tirade against Modi, talks about ''connect'' with Tamil Nadu        Fishing hartal hits coastal belt in Kerala        Five assembly polls to begin Mar 27, Bengal to have max 8 phases; counting on May 2        Vijayan claims Rahul shying away from attacking BJP        Kerala to test all returning expats using RT-PCR; 3,671 fresh COVID-19 cases, 14 deaths reported        Gelatin sticks, detonators seized from train passenger in Kerala        Hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls taken in mass abduction        
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Kerala News
Customs arrests Kerala realty firm MD in dollar smuggling case
 
Kochi: Customs on Tuesday arrested an executive of a private construction firm on charges of abetting smuggling of foreign currencies received as "a kickback" in connection with a Kerala government''s project to provide housing for the poor. Unitac Builders Managing Director D Santhosh Eapen was arrested after questioning by the investigating officials at the Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate here, where he had been summoned, sources in the agency said. According to Customs, Eapen had allegedly given foreign currency as kickback to some employees in the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram to get the construction contract for the LIFE Mission''s housing project in Wadakkancherry in Thrissur district that was financially supported by UAE-based Red Crescent aid agency.

He was later granted bail by the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) Court when Customs produced him following the arrest. Customs, probing the dollar smuggling case which surfaced during the investigation into gold smuggling using diplomatic channels, alleged Eapen had abetted in illegal ''export'' of foreign currency with his full knowledge. Former UAE Consulate finance head and Egyptian national Khaled Mohammed Ali Shoukry had allegedly smuggled USD 1.9 lakh to Cairo via Muscat from Thiruvananthapuram airport in August, 2019, it has said. This was revealed during interrogation of prime accused in the gold smuggling case Swapna Suresh and Sarith P S, former employees of the consulate.

Earlier, central agencies probing gold smuggling case, had alleged that a conspiracy was hatched much before the MoU between Red Crescent and the LIFE Mission, to award the work to Unitac and Sane Ventures, which are only name lenders, to siphon off the foreign contribution in the guise of kick backs to the officials at the UAE consulate. The Life Mission project contemplates construction of housing units by utilising government funds, sponsorships, and funds of local self-government institutions. In 2017, the Emirates Red Crescent, the volunteer humanitarian organisation, affiliated to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, expressed willingness to provide about Rs 20 crore financial assistance for the construction of homes for the victims of the Kerala floods and also a health centre.

The customs had earlier arrested suspended IAS officer M Sivasankar in the dollar smuggling case. He had also been granted bail.


Kerala has become ''fundamentalists'' own country'' under CPI(M) rule, says Sitharaman
COVID-19 crisis far from over; 3rd wave to be more dangerous: CSIR official
Fishing hartal hits coastal belt in Kerala
Vijayan claims Rahul shying away from attacking BJP
Kerala to test all returning expats using RT-PCR; 3,671 fresh COVID-19 cases, 14 deaths reported
Gelatin sticks, detonators seized from train passenger in Kerala
Kerala logs 3,677 fresh COVID-19 cases, 14 deaths
8 arrested over killing of RSS worker in Kerala; Prohibitory orders clamped in two violence-hit taluks
Kerala reports 4,106 new COVID-19 cases, 17 deaths
Kerala logs 4,034 fresh COVID-19 cases, 14 deaths push toll to 4,119
Recoveries outnumber fresh COVID-19 cases in Kerala; Infection count rises to 10.11 lakh
Tourism Minister inaugurates work on 27 projects worth Rs 187 crore
Kerala''s total caseload racing towards 10 lakh mark with another 5k plus new cases
5,942 COVID-19 cases, 16 deaths in Kerala
Explosion at Moolamattom power house; no casualty
Active coronavirus cases in Kerala cross 68,000, 6102 new infections
PK Kunhalikutty resigns from Lok Sabha
All sections of Nadar community in Kerala to be brought under OBC category
Suspended IAS officer M Sivasankar gets bail in dollar smuggling case
Kerala adds 5,716 new COVID-19 cases, caseload rises to 9.38 lakh
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
George Clooney says Capitol attack put Trump family 'into the dustbin of history'
 Los Angeles: Hollywood star George Clooney has condemned the attack on the Capitol Hill in the US by  
'Mean Girls' won't be returning to Broadway
Ian McKellan is 'happy' Elliot Page came out as transgender
A R Rahman thanks fans for support during 'difficult times'
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
UN Human Rights Office says 18 killed in Myanmar crackdown
 Yangon: Security forces in Myanmar opened fire and made mass arrests Sunday as they sought to break
FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson vaccine against Covid-19 for emergency use
Syria airstrikes: President Biden protected US personnel, facilities, says White House
Hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls taken in mass abduction
NATIONAL NEWS
Army cancels recruitment exam after paper leaked
 New Delhi: The Army has cancelled an examination for pan-India recruitment of general duty personnel
Rahul dubs PM Modi a ''formidable enemy,'' vows to defeat him
ISRO launches DRDO''s satellite Sindhu Netra
On National Science Day, Modi asks citizens to practise Lab to Land mantra
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