Customs questions Kerala Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan


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Kerala Assembly Speaker and senior CPI-M leader P. Sreeramakrishnan has been questioned by the Customs department at his official residence in a dollar smuggling case.

Sreeramakrishnan was served a notice to appear before the Customs at its Kochi office on April 8 (Thursday), but he did not go there citing health reasons.

Following this, top Customs officials on Friday reached his official residence here, and questioned him for over four hours.

Sreeramakrishnan was earlier asked to appear before the Customs on March 12. He did not turn up then as well.

The Speaker's name in the matter cropped up last December following the statement of gold smuggling case prime accused in a court that 'big sharks' had a role in helping accused like Swapna Suresh.

Since then, he was in a tight corner, and had to face the wrath of Opposition, which moved a motion in the house in January demanding his removal but was rejected.

Incidentally, a statement of Swapna Suresh recorded under Section 108 of the Customs Act, and her statement before a magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC, filed by the Customs in the Kerala High Court, revealed her close connection with the Chief Minister, his Principal Secretary and a personal staffer.

Her statement further alleged smuggling of foreign currency at the instance of the Chief Minister and the Speaker with the help of the UAE Consulate in the capital city, and the "improper and illegal activities" of three state Ministers and the Speaker. She had also alleged kickbacks were received by high-profile persons from various deals.

Source: IANS

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