Ferreira says he will appear before Mumbai police soon

New Delhi: Former World Billiards Champion Michael Ferreira on Wednesday said he would appear before the Mumbai police in connection with the alleged Rs. 425 crore QNet scam as soon as "I am able" to after his ongoing treatment in a Kuala Lumpur hospital.

In a statement from Kuala Lumpur, he denied reports that he has applied for a citizenship in Hong Kong to evade questioning by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police, Ferreira said he was "not so stupid or naive to imagine" that he can mess with the police and to avoid questioning by the EOW.

The billiards legend said that he is undergoing treatment for "some long-standing health issues" since December last.

Mumbai police had, earlier this month, issued a `lookout` notice against Ferreira after he failed to appear before them for questioning. A lookout notice is a circular issued against a person when he/she is wanted by police either for questioning or for the purpose of arrest in any case.

In the second week of December, the EOW of the city police had served summons to 75-year-old Ferreira, directing him to appear before them to quiz him about his association with the scam-hit company.

Ferreira said the EOW summons were served to him in his absence when he was away for medical treatment and that his lawyer had duly informed the investigating agency about his inability to attend the questioning.

"Significantly, this letter unequivocally stated that I would attend the EOW as soon as I was cleared medically. My lawyer has a duly receipted copy of his letter to the EOW in this regard," he said.

Ferreira was also of the understanding that the lookout notice was issued against him when he failed to appear before the EOW.

"I also reiterate that I have the highest respect for the Mumbai Police who have some of the most able officers in the country and who are a credit to their uniform and the country," he said.

Ferreira said the "vicious and sustained attacks" on him have taken a heavy toll of his health and mental equilibrium.

"I am more than 75 years and the vicious and sustained attacks on me have taken a heavy toll of my health and mental equilibrium. I will deal with all relevant issues and with the persons responsible for maligning my name on my return," he added.