The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday said that it has arrested Santhosh Eappen, managing partner of Unitac Builders and Developers and Sane Ventures LLP, under the PMLA in connection with the investigation being conducted into the Life Mission scam.
A money laundering case has been recorded by the ED on the basis of the FIR registered by the CBI, ACB, Cochin and VACB, Thiruvananthapuram against Unitac, Sane Ventures and others under the Prevention of Corruption Act for suspected pecuniary advantage obtained by some persons from the Life Mission Project and illegal gratification received by various persons including some public servants.
The UAE based charitable organisation Red Crescent approached the UAE Consulate General, Thiruvananthapuram offering to donate for charity in Kerala. Officials of the UAE consulate, Thiruvananthapuram in turn approached the Kerala government through the Chief Minister's Office. A MoU was signed in 2019 with the Life Mission team.
"A conspiracy was hatched by the Consulate employees with active support of M. Sivasankar, then private secretary to the Chief Minister to generate commission as bribe from the funds donated by Red Crescent by awarding the Life Mission project to Unitac Builders and Developers and Sane Ventures LLP run by Santhosh Eappen. From the funds received from the UAE Red Crescent, Santhosh Eappen had arranged an upfront commission as bribe for UAE Consulate officials and Kerala government officials by withdrawing money from the bank accounts of the companies of Santhosh Eappen, which is also admitted by him," said the official.
The ED arrested Santhosh Eappen on March 20 and produced him before a special PMLA Court which remanded him to three-day ED custody.
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