Customs serves notice to Speaker again; seeks legal advice on action against Vinodini Balakrishnan
Kochi: The Customs has served a notice to the Kerala Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan again in connection with the dollar smuggling case. He has been directed to appear before the Customs on April 8. Though the Speaker was served notice prior to this, he had not appeared before Customs.
Meanwhile, the Customs team sought legal advice on the iPhone issue involving Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s wife Vinodini. Though she was served notice thrice, she had not appeared for interrogation. So, the Customs sought legal advice regarding this matter.
Normally, when a person fails to appear even after receiving notice thrice, the probe team will proceed to further actions after getting warrant from the court. The Customs sought legal advice ahead of this action.
The Crime Branch found that Vinodini Balakrishnan was using her own iPhone. The Crime Branch found this in an investigation carried out on the basis of a complaint filed by Vinodini to the DGP.
Vinodini bought the phone from a shop in Kowdiar and Unitac MD Santhosh Eapen bought the controversial iPhone from another shop at Statue Junction. Both the phones were sold to the retail shops by the same wholesale dealer at Spencer Junction on adjacent dates. So, the confusion might have occurred when the Customs team collected information from the wholesale dealer, the Crime Branch pointed out.
Earlier, the Customs had stated that Vinodini used one of the iPhones purchased by Unitac MD Santhosh Eapen, who was named accused in the dollar smuggling case. Following this, they had sent a notice to Vinodini summoning her for interrogation. But Vinodini rejected the allegations and stated that nobody gifted her the iPhone and that she does not know Santhosh Eapen.