Kochi: Mohammad Anoop, the mastermind of a drug racket who was arrested in Bangalore, has close ties with eight young members of the Malayalam film industry.
Anoop had a big role in smuggling cocaine, LSD and MDMA into Kerala, according to the investigation team.
Central intelligence agencies are collecting evidence of Anoop's links with K T Ramees, a key accused in the Trivandrum airport diplomatic parcel gold smuggling case, and a close relative of a top politician in Kerala. Anoop was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) along with Kannada television star D Anikha and Rijosh Raveendran, a Palakkad resident.
Anoop used to conduct his dealings at the shopping malls in Kochi. But when those businesses collapsed, he shifted his base to Bengaluru. The close relative of the politician helped him with this and also provided him money.
Anoop and Raveendran used to deliver expensive drugs at night parties in Bengaluru. The NCB has obtained evidence that some Malayalam film industry members had approached Anoop for drugs even during the COVID lockdown period when shooting had to be halted.
In social media groups, close friends refer to Anoop as the 'Don of Bangalore'.
Anoop had the phone number of KT Ramees, a key accused in the Trivandrum gold smuggling case, on his contact list, but investigating agencies haven’t found any evidence to show that they had been in touch in the last three months. However, since June 30, when the diplomatic parcel with the smuggled gold was detained at the Thiruvananthapuram airport, Anoop had made several phone calls to the relative of the politician.
The frequency of the phone calls between them increased after Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair reached Bengaluru to avoid arrest in the smuggling case.
Information about the smuggling of gold through diplomatic parcels was leaked to the Customs Department after the racket tried to involve drug dealers to raise more money for its operations. A misunderstanding between them led to the arrest of Anoop and his associates in Bengaluru, officials said.
Kannada actors may be questioned
Meanwhile, the NCB is planning to question some Kannada actors and singers in the drug dealing case.
Anikha used her friendship with a prominent South Indian star to establish a close relationship with the film industry. She was a classmate of the actor who acts in three languages.
Agencies have obtained evidence that shows the gang was delivering drugs to the residences and farm houses of actors and singers. The Bengaluru police would be ready to take part in the probe if requested by the NCB, Commissioner Kamal Pant said.