ED to probe Mollywood's real estate investments in Munnar

Mohammed Anoop, Bineesh Kodiyeri
Mohammed Anoop, Bineesh Kodiyeri

Kochi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) will initiate a probe into the alleged real estate investments of certain members from the Malayalam film industry (Mollywood) in Munnar.

The national agency had received information in this regard from the statements of Anoop Mohammed and Rijesh Ravindran, who were arrested in the recent Bengaluru drug case. The ED is investigating the money- laundering angle in the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case and the Bengaluru drug case.

The statements of Bineesh Kodiyeri, a close friend of Anoop, also prompted the agency to look into the land deals. Bineesh Kodiyeri, son of CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, has also worked in the film industry.

The ED has collected the statements of the accused in the Bengaluru case from the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

Malayalam film industry members, suspected to be involved in drug dealings, have made real estate investments of around Rs 50 crore in Munnar, and that Bineesh and a hotel owner know the details, as per the statements received by the national agency. The probe team will question the hotel owner in Munnar, who is allegedly close to a minister in the state government, over these revelations.

However, Bineesh had not mentioned this during the ED's interrogation on Wednesday.

But Bineesh conceded that he had brokered property deals outside the state. He also informed that he would submit his business documents.

The ED is also verifying Bineesh's statements on the black money channelled into the Malayalam film industry and the drug deals.

Information about eight people from the Malayalam film industry, who are frequent drug users, have been found from the Telegram messenger on Anoop's phone.

The NCB also got details about 20 people who frequently took part in rave parties outside Kerala. This information was provided by another person, Niyas, arrested from Bengaluru.

After completing the probe in the Kannada film industry in the drug case, the NCB is likely to extend the investigation into the Malayalam film industry too.

Police probe too

Meanwhile, the internal security wing of the Kerala Police has also begun a probe in the property deals of the drug gang in Munnar.

Anoop said that the drug gang has 200 acres of land in the plantation sector in Munnar. However, the land registration procedures have not been reportedly completed after certain people refused to invest, following the demonetisation.

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