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Kerala Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan, who has been summoned by Customs in the Dollar smuggling case, will not appear before Customs officials on Friday.

The Customs department had served notice to the Kerala Assembly Speaker last week asking him to appear before its Kochi office on March 12 at 11 am in connection with the dollar smuggling case.

In a letter, Sreeramakrishnan said that would not appear citing reasons of a busy work schedule related to his official duties, and said that he can appear on the first week next month.

The Speaker was summoned after an affidavit submitted before the Kerala High Court earlier in which Customs Commissioner (Preventive) Sumit Kumar claimed that gold smuggling scam accused Swapna Suresh had disclosed that the smuggling of foreign currency was done at the instance of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the Assembly Speaker with the help of the UAE Consulate.

The case came to light during the investigation of the Kerala gold smuggling case, which is currently being probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the Enforcement Directorate (ED), and the Customs department.

The matter, which pertains to the smuggling of gold in the state through diplomatic channels, had come to light after 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crore smuggled in a consignment camouflaged as diplomatic baggage was busted by the Customs in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5, 2020.