Kerala Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan tests positive for COVID-19

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.

In a Facebook post, Sreeramakrishnan said he has tested positive for the infection and was under observation at his official residence here.

He also requested all those who had come in contact with him in recent days to quarantine themselves.

Kerala reported 6,194 fresh COVID-19 cases on Saturday, the highest in the past few days.

Earlier on Thursday, Chief Minister Pinaray Vijayan and former CM Oommen Chandy had also tested positive for coronavirus.

Pinarayi, who had taken the first dose of the Covid vaccine last month, confirmed his infection in a tweet.

Chief Minister's daughter Veena Vijayan and son-in-law P A Mohammed Riyas had earlier tested positive.

Customs officials had recorded the statement of the speaker in the dollar smuggling case on Friday.

Customs department sleuths reached Sreeramakrishnan's house as he had informed them that he was unable to reach Kochi due to some health related issues.

The Customs also conducted checks at Sreeramakrishnan's flat at Chaakka on Saturday based on gold and dollar smuggling accused Swapna Suresh's allegations that money was exchanged in the flat.

The dollar case pertaining to the alleged smuggling of USD 1,90,000 (equivalent to Rs 1.30 crore) by a former finance head of the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram to Muscat in Oman, came to light during the probe into the Gold smuggling case.

Swapna, key accused in the gold smuggling case, had allegedly made shocking revelations against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the Speaker and some ministers with regard to dollar "smuggling" involving UAE consulate officials.

Swapna and P S Sarith, another accused in the two cases, had claimed before the Enforcement Directorate, probing the money trail in the gold case, that the Assembly Speaker had made investment in a college in Oman.

They also said Sreeramakrishnan handed over currency bundles meant for a UAE consulate official at a flat here, as per their depositions submitted in the High Court by the central agency.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), ED and Customs are conducting separate investigations on the two rackets.

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