Customs comes calling at Speaker Sreeramakrishnan's home, records his statement in dollar case

Kerala Assembly Speaker and senior CPM leader P Sreeramakrishnan
Kerala Assembly Speaker and senior CPM leader P Sreeramakrishnan

Thiruvananthapuram: The Customs recorded the statement of Kerala Assembly Speaker and senior CPM leader P Sreeramakrishnan over his alleged role in the dollar smuggling case.

The Speaker's office confirmed that he was questioned at his Thiruvananthapuram residence on Friday evening by a team led by Customs Superintendent Salil.

He was earlier served the notice by the Customs to appear before its Kochi office on April 8 for questioning. But he had informed the Customs that he is unwell and hence he was unable to present himself before the probe agency.

Sreeramakrishnan was earlier asked to appear before the Customs on March 12, but did not, citing his inability to do so.

The interrogators quizzed him for nearly an hour, sources said.

How the Speaker got embroiled

The Speaker's name cropped up in the case last December after Swapna Suresh, a key accused in the Trivandrum Airport gold smuggling case, claimed a few 'big sharks' like him had a role in the racket.

Since then, he was under intense scrutiny, and had to face the wrath of the Opposition, which moved a motion in the House in January demanding his removal, but it was rejected.

Incidentally, a few of Swapna's statements revealed her close connection with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's Principal Secretary M Sivasankar and a personal aide too apart from Sreeramakrishnan. These statements, which were recorded under Section 108 of the Customs Act and Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code, were filed by the Customs in the Kerala High Court early this month.  

Checks at flat

The Customs conducted checks at Sreeramakrishnan's flat at Chaakka on Saturday.

Swapna had alleged that the money was exchanged here. She had also claimed Sreeramakrishnan had invited her here with ulterior motives.

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