THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Enforcement Directorate on Thursday arrested Bineesh Kodiyeri, son of Kerala CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, in connection with a money laundering case and his alleged links and financial dealings with an accused in Bengaluru drug racket case.
Bineesh who was questioned at the ED's zonal office in Bengaluru for more than three hours, was arrested under relevant sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The investigating agency later produced him before a local court which sent him to four day's ED custody. The investigating agency will put him through custodial interrogation in connection with the charges of "financing a drugs network."
Bineesh has been questioned thrice by the central agency in connection with his alleged links with M Anoop who was arrested in Bengaluru in a narcotics seizure case a couple of months ago. The ED investigation is related to a case being probed by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) which had busted an ecstasy pills drug trafficking racket in Karnataka in August.
The NCB team had arrested M Anoop, Anikha D, R Ravindran and seized 145 ecstasy or MDMA pills and over Rs 2.20 lakh cash from a hotel apartment in Bengaluru during a raid.
There were allegations that Bineesh had invested money in a hotel business launched by M Anoop in Kammanahalli in 2015. The CPM Kerala state secretary’s son admitted that he knew Anoop who had borrowed money from him and some others for launching hotel and restaurant business in Bengaluru a few years ago.
Earlier, Anoop gave a statement to ED officials at the Parappana Agrahara jail that he had invested money on the instructions of Bineesh. This statement is being taken as evidence against Bineesh.
During the course of the probe , the ED found that Anoop had collected more than Rs 50 lakh rupees . There were many Malayalis among those who gave money to him. The investigating agency also suspects benami transactions.
Anoop had acquired many hotels and restaurants in various parts of Bengaluru city. The investigation agency suspects that the hotel business was just a cover for running the drug racket and smuggling of drugs.
According to available information, the NCB might also register a case against Bineesh in connection with the money trail in the drug racket case. NCB is likely to apply for his custody once ED completes questioning.
Kerala CM rejects opposition demand for his resignation
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said the opposition was trying to put the entire blame of the misdeeds of an official on his government. The opposition attempt is to divert attention from people's welfare measures being implemented by the LDF government. “Let me reiterate this government will not tolerate any corruption. The government is focused on bringing relief to the people and to take development activities to the next level. Sivasankar was removed from his post soon after his links with the gold smuggling case came to light. Subsequently he was suspended,” the chief minister read out from a prepared text at his routine press conference in Thiruvananthapuram.
LDF convenor A Viayaraghavan said the party cannot take the moral responsibilities for the acts of Bineesh Kodiyeri. “Bineesh is not a party member. The CPM cannot take the responsibility of party secretary’s son,” he told reporters.,
Meanwhile, opposition Congress and BJP stepped up attacks on the LDF demanding the resignation of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Kodiyheri Balakrishnan in the wake of the arrests of Sivasankar and Bineesh. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said the situation had come to such a pass that all Malayalis have to hang their heads in shame because of the gold smuggling case and drug racket. BJP state president K Surendran alleged that two more ministers were involved in the gold smuggling case.
He said the CPM which had organised a Plenum and brought out a rectification document to remove the uncommunist ways among its party leaders and their family members, owed an explanation to the people of the state inview of Bineesh's arrest....