Customs interrogates Kerala Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan in dollar smuggling case

PS Sarith, an accused in the Gold and Dollar smuggling case in Kerala had named the Kerala Speaker in his statement.
Kerala Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan addressing assembly
Kerala Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan addressing assembly
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Kerala Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan was questioned by the Customs Department on Saturday. The questioning reportedly took place at the Speaker's official residence in Thiruvananthapuram.

The Customs on several occasions had served notices to the Speaker, to appear before the agency for questioning. On Thursday too, the Customs had issued a notice to him and the Speaker did not appear citing medical reasons. Following this, Customs sleuths reportedly arrived at the Speaker's house for questioning on Friday.

According to reports, the questioning lasted for over four hours on Sturday too and may even spill over to Sunday. It was led by a Superintendent rank officer of Customs House in Kerala. Reports have also said that the interrogation took place at the Speaker's residence considering his constitutional post.

The Customs had earlier summoned the Speaker for interrogation twice. On April 1 he was issued a notice asking to come to the Customs office on April 8. Prior to this, the Customs had issued a summons to the Speaker on March 12. However, he had said that he could not respond to the summons.

The Kerala dollar smuggling case pertains to the alleged smuggling of Rs 1.30 crore by a former finance head of the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram to Muscat in Oman.

The Speaker is being interrogated based on statements by Swapna Suresh and Sarith - both accused in the gold and dollar smuggling cases. Sarith claimed that the Speaker had handed him a bag containing currency to be given to ‘His Excellency’, which is presumed to be the UAE Consul General or any other officials. 

Speaker denies rumours of suicide attempt

In a video posted to his Facebook account, the Speaker also rubbished suicide attempt rumours about him.

“I am not somebody who seeks respite in death. I am not a coward,” the speaker said in his Facebook video.

He also added that he is ready to appear before any investigating agency at any time and that he had stated this earlier too.

“I don’t consider the kind of toxic news being circulated, which is even anticipating my death, a personal attack on me. Because I am not affected by this. So whoever has circulated this, I want to tell them - ‘Friend, you have failed in this attempt’. 

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