Assets of drug dealer seized

First time police has started such action in a drug case

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Hotel White Residency in Ooty, a shopping complex in Edappal in Malappuram district, and four other landed properties suspected to belong to international drug peddling case accused, Gireeshkumar alias Alibhai of Thoottakara in Ottapalam have been frozen by the Competent Authority, an agency under the Union finance ministry.

It is the first time that the state police is initiating such a step in a drug peddling case. As per the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, the wealth amassed by an accused can be frozen and provisionally attached by the Competent Authority as soon a case is registered under the act.

A Crime Branch team led by deputy superintendent of police M.J. Sojan initiated this action against Gireeshkumar who was accused in a case pertaining to the seizure of 1.05 kilogram brown sugar from one Mohanan in Malppuram in 2009.

Gireeshkumar was suspected to be operating from Kuwait and had even served 10 years imprisonment there. The frozen properties, worth nearly Rs 10 crore, were purchased in the names of his relatives and friends.

The Crime Branch will now send a letter rogatory to the Kuwait government seeking details of cases against him. One of his accomplices, Saifudheen of Trissur, had even stated that Gireeshkumar was carrying out international drug trafficking through phone calls, while in jail.

“It was indeed a very tiresome process to get the Competent Authority's order as we were doing it for the first time. Also the accused had tried to challenge our moves at various stages,” Mr. Sojan said.

The Competent Authority's final order came on March 25. Gireeshkumar, known as Alibhai in Kuwait, was held at Bangalore airport on October 17, 2014 on his arrival from Kuwait as per a lookout notice by the Crime Branch which got information from Saifudheen, after the latter’s house was raided in December 2012 and details of landed properties were recovered.

Saifudheen confessed that he was Alibhai's benami. In a bid to turn approver, Saifudheen’s co-brother Tajudeen, also a benami, even gave a statement before a magistrate regarding the narcotic business.

( Source : dc )
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