Thiruvananthapuram, Sept. 24: A former personal assistant of Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy has landed in controversy after allegations that a key accused in a gold smuggling case had contacted him over phone and Facebook.
The development comes at a time some of Chandy’s aides have been implicated in the solar scam, in which the proprietors of a solar energy firm are accused of duping people under the pretext of installing solar panels at their homes and offices.
Jikkumon Jacob, who was additional personal assistant to the chief minister, had quit the post in June this year after reports linked him to Saritha S. Nair, a key accused in the solar scandal.
Jacob’s name hit the headlines again today after the arrest of one Faiz T.K. in connection with the seizure of 20kg of gold worth Rs 6 crore from two women at Kochi International Airport on September 19.
Sources in the customs and police say Faiz’s phone and Facebook records “establish” his connections with Jacob.
Jacob, however, denied any wrongdoing and pledged to cooperate with any inquiry. He said many people used to call him when he was Chandy’s aide and that he could not be held responsible for their wrongdoings.
CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan alleged the chief minister’s office had turned into a den of wrongdoers. His reference was to the arrest of Chandy’s former personal assistant, Tenny Joppen, and the suspension of the chief minister’s personal security guard, Salim Raj, in connection with the solar scandal.
Chandy refused to react to the latest insinuations.
Faiz was arrested at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi last Sunday as he was about to catch a flight to Dubai. It was the arrest of the two women that had led customs officials to him.
Faiz and his brother Faizal are suspected to be the key players in what is believed to be an international gold smuggling racket.