Bengaluru drug scandal: ED sleuths grill Kerala CPM secretary’s son Bineesh Kodiyeri

South India

The ED officials informed a court in Kochi on Wednesday that they strongly suspect that some of the accused in the gold smuggling case had links with the Bengaluru drug racket busted by the Narcotics Control Bureau. 

Bineesh Kodiyeri, son of Kerala’s ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, is being grilled by the Enforcement Directorate officials at Kochi on Wednesday, September 9 in connection with the Bengaluru drug case being probed by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

The ED officials summoned him following allegations that he had links with an accused in Bengaluru drug case. Bineesh was accused of investing money in a hotel launched by the drug case accused Mohammed Anoop at Bengaluru.

Bineesh had claimed that he had given Rs.6 lakh in two instalments to Anoop as loan and denied any knowledge about his involvement with the drug rackets. Earlier, the youth wing of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) had alleged that Bineesh Kodiyeri has close links with several members of a drug racket busted by the Narcotics Control Bureau in Bengaluru recently.

Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate has alleged close links between the drug and gold smuggling rackets. The investigation officials are also trying to find out whether the accused in the gold smuggling case received any assistance from Bineesh for their operations. The case surfaced after 30 kg of gold in a diplomatic bag from UAE was seized at the Thiruvananthapuram airport in July.

The ED will also look into allegations that he ran shell companies which were closed in just a year after they became operational.

Bineesh's name in the Bengaluru drugs seizure case surfaced last week when Anoop Mohammed, one of those arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau in the case, gave a statement that Bineesh had funded a hotel that he started a few years ago, according to a News Minute report.

Anoop Mohammed had been arrested with more than 250 MDMA pills in his possession, investigation officials had said.

The NCB, while submitting the remand report for Anoop Mohammed, had attached a sheet of the questions they asked him and his answers. He told officials that he had leased a property in Kammanahalli in Bengaluru in 2015 and opened a restaurant with the name 'Hyaat' at Agnes Arcade with financial help from Bineesh Kodiyeri. Anoop also said that he sold Hyaat in 2018 due to financial difficulties.

In February 2020, he then started a home stay apartment called Royal Suits with another friend. It is from this establishment that he was caught by the NCB with a stash of ecstasy pills. Anoop had bought the MDMA pills from Anikha, who is believed to be the kingpin of the racket, officials said.

Image Credit: Manorama

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