The Vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureau (VACB) probing charges against former Kerala excise minister K. Babu for amassing wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income on Monday examined the bank lockers of his daughter.
The vigilance sleuths found 117 sovereigns of gold from the Vennala branch of Punjab National Bank.
Four more lockers have to be opened, including the ones at the Thammanam branch of Union Bank.
The agency had sealed the lockers last week when they raided the houses of the former minister, his relatives and people close to him. The VACB will submit before the court the documents, money and gold seized from Babu’s house and other premises.
The VACB has unearthed documents related to land deals allegedly by a suspected benami of Babu.
VACB officials on Monday said one Baburam had effected 27 land deals worth crores of rupees between 2011 and 2016 when Babu, a senior Congress leader, was a minister in the Congress-led UDF government.
It came to the fore two days after Kerala's anti- corruption watchdog conducted searches at the residences of Babu, his two daughters and his two alleged benamis in connection with a disproportionate assets case against him.
The Ernakulam VACB special cell team had seized valuable documents from their houses.
VACB sources said Baburam owns land worth crores of rupees in Thripunithura and other parts of the state.
In the FIR filed before the court of enquiry commissioner and special judge, Muvattupuzha, VACB special cell has submitted that Babu used Baburam as his benami for the land dealings.
"He (Babu) also invested ill-gotten money for the benami business with one Mohanan, Royal Bakers, Thripunithura."
"During the verification it is revealed that Baburam and Mohanan have no source for running their business and they use luxury vehicles like BMW and Benz. Inquiry revealed that the assets possessed by them are the benami of Babu," the FIR said.
Babu and his alleged benamis have rejected the charges against them.
"It is an act of vengeance against me," the Congress leader had said reacting to the raids. Babu's personal staff member one Nandakumar was summoned by the probe agency in its office to record his statement.
Chandy backs Babu
Meanwhile, Congress leader and former chief minister Oommen Chandy on Monday said the bribery cases against his former cabinet colleagues Babu and K.M Mani were politically motivated and the party will face it legally.
"We will legally face the government that acts politically," he said in a Facebook post.
(With agency inputs)