Enforcement Directorate interrogates Minister KT Jaleel
Kochi: Enforcement Directorate interrogated Minister KT Jaleel in connection with the Thiruvananthapuram gold smuggling case. The interrogation took place on Friday morning at the Enforcement Directorate office here.
It is reported that the minister was questioned regarding the import of religious texts through diplomatic channels from UAE and its distribution. He was reportedly asked about his connection with Swapna Suresh, one of the accused in the Thiruvananthapuram gold smuggling case, as well.
The interrogation lasted for about two and a half hours. The minister reached the ED office in a private vehicle instead of his official vehicle.
The details regarding the import of religious texts from UAE through diplomatic channels came out as part of the investigation in the gold smuggling case. The incident became a controversy after it was revealed that religious texts cannot be imported to India or distributed without the approval of the central government.
There are also suspicions regarding whether it was really religious texts that were imported through diplomatic cargo.
The approval of the External Affairs Ministry has to be sought for other countries to distribute religious texts in India. Also, the government of Kerala has to be officially informed about the same as well.
The protocol officer had clarified that the UAE consulate was not given approval for any of their diplomatic baggage in the past two years. Meanwhile, Swapna Suresh had told the investigation agencies that she took commissions for these transactions.
Minister Jaleel had stated that every year the religious texts are distributed by UAE embassies and consulates in various countries around the world during the Ramzan season. He also had said that he was willing to hand over the texts back to the consulate if the central government disapproves it.