‘He was in need of UAE Consul General for personal affairs’.
Swapna Suresh, accused in the diplomatic channel gold smuggling case, gave a statement to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan had “always kept trying to get close to her and he was in need of the Consul General of UAE for his personal affairs.”
The ED had submitted these statements to the Kerala High Court recently.
When asked to explain her relationship with Mr. Sreeramakrishnan, Swapna said she met him for the first time at a function of the UAE Consulate. “He used to send me WhatsApp messages and used to call up frequently,” she said.
Swapna said the Speaker had invited her to his official residence on several occasions.
She stated that Mr. Sreeramakrishnan had called her to a flat in Marutham Apartment, Pettah, twice and told that it was his hideout. She stated that she did not agree to his personal interests. Swapna said she met him at the apartment along with Sarith.
She said Mr. Sreeramakrishnan handed over a bag to Sarith, another accused in the case, and told him that it contained a packet that was to be handed over safely to the Consul General. He also gave a pen to Sarith, she stated. Sarith, who delivered the packet to the Consul General, said the packet seemed to have currency notes inside. Later, this bag was seized by the Customs from the residence of Sarith, she stated.
She also stated that Sarith had presented the Speaker with an expensive watch as a gift for inaugurating a venture launched by Sarith.
Swapna also stated that M. Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, told her that C.M. Raveendran, a staff member in the Chief Minister’s Office, was shocked when he heard about her resignation from the UAE Consulate. She said Mr. Raveendran used to call her for attestations and stamping of documents for people known to him.
When confronted with her WhatsApp chat with M. Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Swapna said she had informed the Chief Minister about the circumstances in which she was forced to resign from the UAE Consulate.