Yesterday, Minister KT. Jalil was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) but no significant information was received, official sources said. The minister was evading many important questions. He gave vague answers.Apart from gold smuggling, the ED had asked questions about various transactions. The minister was not ready to give a satisfactory answer to any of these. Therefore, after studying the statement given by the minister in detail, the probe team decided to call for questioning again. The Minister was interrogated for three hours at the Kochi Regional Office of the Enforcement Directorate under the leadership of Assistant Director P. Radhakrishnan.
The Customs probe had found that Jaleel had brought consignments from the UAE through the diplomatic channel over the last year. The minister had said that the consignments were religious texts meant to be distributed in his home district of Malappuram.
ED sources maintained that there was a protocol violation in the minister ferrying in consignments from the UAE. “Even if the consignments were religious texts, a minister cannot do that. We have also doubts about the articles in the consignments. We are trying to find out what came to Kerala through the consignments, brought with the support of officials at the Consulate,” said a source.
The official said the state protocol office was not informed about the deal. “The consignments were first shifted using a Consulate vehicle and the minister had used the official vehicle of the Kerala State Centre for Advanced Printing and Training to be transported to Malappuram. Our probe found that the consignments, claimed as religious texts, have been transported to Karnataka using the state government vehicle,” a source said.
The ED had arrested Swapna Suresh, P S Sarith and Sandeep Nair in connection with the case. Senior IAS officer M Sivasankar, who had been removed as principal secretary to the CM, was also questioned. Jaleel’s questioning came a day after the ED questioned CPI(M) politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son Bineesh for nearly 10 hours.