Sreeramakrishnan paid huge amount to UAE Consul-General, says Sarith

P Sreeramakrishnan and Sarith
P Sreeramakrishnan and Sarith

Kochi: Within hours of a statement of Swapna Suresh, the prime accused in the gold smuggling case, becoming public, the statement of another key accused, Sarith P S, too, reached the public domain.

Both the statements, purportedly made by Swapna and Sarith, targeted Kerala Legislative Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan.

According to Manorama News, Sarith reportedly told that the Speaker had given a huge amount to the Consul-General of the United Arab Emirates.

Quoting the accused, the leaked document also said the Speaker handed over a bag containing the money to Swapna and Sarith at a flat in Royal Apartments, opposite the Trivandrum International Airport.

The bag displayed the logo of the State Assembly, Sarith reportedly said, adding that it contained 10 wads of currency notes.

It was also stated that Sreeramakrishnan returned to his official residence in Swapna's car.

The statements were made public even as the CPM-led LDF is seeking a second consecutive term in power.

A copy of Swapna's statement, made public earlier, said that the Speaker had invested in Muscat, Oman-based Middle East College, and that he tried to open the institution's branch in Sharjah, the third most populous city in the UAE.

Swapna Suresh
Swapna Suresh

The statement was enclosed with an Enforcement Directorate's petition submitted before the High Court. The petition sought the quashing of a State Crime Branch's first information report registered against the investigators of the central agency.

Swapna reportedly made the revelations against Sreeramakrishnan while being interrogated about WhatsApp chats. In a message reportedly sent to M Sivashankar, former Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, the woman had referred to one Lafir. She named Sreeramakrishnan while questioned about this chat message.

The stories being cooked up with ulterior motives during election time were totally unacceptable, Sreeramakrishnan said.

"I am ready for any type of probe. But the probe has to be free, fair and legal," he added.

Sivashankar was imprisoned for more than 90 days, before getting bail in February. The gold smuggling case came to light in July last when 30 kilograms of gold were seized from a diplomatic baggage meant for the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.  

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