During lockdown, Anoop distributed drugs in Kochi through film industry youths

Mohammed Anoop
Mohammed Anoop

Kochi: Mohammad Anoop, the accused in the Bengaluru drug case, has a large drug distribution network based in Kochi, investigations have revealed.

There are indications that youths working in the Malayalam cinema industry were made drug distributors during the COVID lockdown, when film shooting had completely stopped.

The investigations of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), the central anti-drug investigation agency, is extending to Kerala, too, as the drug racket’s links to the state emerge. The special branch of the Kerala Police is also examining the information obtained in the case so far.

Anoop, a native of Vennala in Kochi, was arrested along with accomplices Rijesh Raveendran, a native of Thrissur, and serial actress D Anikha, during a search operation to bust a racket supplying drugs to filmmakers in Bengaluru.

The investigation team examined the mobile phones and the telegram messenger of the three arrested and found evidence that they had been supplying drugs to eight young men working in the Malayalam film industry for three years. It was with the help of these youths that more people were made a part of the network during the lockdown. The NCB has obtained information from Anikha’s phone about three young women from Kochi being involved in drug trafficking.

The interrogation of the Bengaluru NCB unit, which arrested the three, has been focussing on their drug dealings in Karnataka. The NCB has not questioned them on Mohammad Anoop’s links with the accused in the Thiruvananthapuram diplomatic parcels gold smuggling case. They were remanded before the Bengaluru unit of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) could get an opportunity to investigate Anoop’s links with the gold smuggling gang.

Anoop offered Rs 2 lakh for not removing face mask

Anoop, Anikha, Rijesh
Anoop, Anikha, Rijesh

Kochi: It is alleged that Anoop had offered Rs 2 lakh to an officer of the NCB's investigation team for not removing his face mask when he was being photographed along with the other two after their arrest in Bengaluru.

In the photo made available to the media, Anikha and Rijesh Raveendran are without face masks, whereas Anoop has one.

Anoop may have been deceived: Father

Kochi: He doesn’t believe his son started selling drugs of his own accord, Anoop’s father Basheer has said.

He said he suspected that someone had given Anoop wrong advice to recover the loss his son had suffered after his business in Bengaluru collapsed.

If someone had cheated Anoop, then they should be found and punished and his son should be released, Basheer said.

But, if his son is found to be guilty, then he should be given the punishment he deserves, Basheer said.

After Anoop was arrested in Bengaluru, the police had come to his house, Basheer said. They arrived in the middle of the night and took away some documents from Anoop’s room. Anoop had said that he ran a business with the help of some friends, Basheer said. He had come home last January when he was under treatment for jaundice, he said.

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