Enforcement Directorate issues notice to Bineesh Kodiyeri, seeks details of assets

Enforcement Directorate issues notice to Bineesh Kodiyeri, seeks details of assets
Bineesh Kodiyeri

Kochi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued a notice to CPM Kerala state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan's son Bineesh Kodiyeri and the State Registration Department, seeking details of his assets.

The ED has also asked both the parties not to transfer or sell any assets owned by Bineesh without informing it. The notice was issued as per Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

According to reports, the ED suspects that Bineesh had committed offences as per Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Trouble started for Bineesh ever since four national agencies started probing the two cases - Thiruvananthapuram gold smuggling and a drug dealing, which was unravelled in Bengaluru by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

The ED is trying to find out if there was a common thread in the two cases and if Bineesh had a role in them.

Earlier, the ED had questioned Bineesh Kodiyeri for 11 hours on September 9 over his alleged links with drug-peddler Mohammed Anoop, who was arrested by Central Crime Branch (CCB) in Bengaluru.

He was questioned by a team led by P Radhakrishnan, Assistant Director at the ED and let off around 10 pm on the day.

Companies under ED watch

Three companies, started in partnership with Bineesh Kodiyeri, are also under ED scrutiny. Two of them – one based in Kozhikode and the other in Bengaluru – were frozen by the Registrar of Companies for not submitting their annual reports since their inception in 2015.

The third company which Bineesh has links to, UAFX in Thiruvananthapuram, is said to have paid commission to Swapna Suresh, an accused in the Thiruvananthapuram gold smuggling case, for helping it win the visa stamping contract of the UAE Consulate.

The ED strongly suspects that these are companies that exist only on paper and are involved in money laundering and foreign exchange transactions. There are indications that the ones arrested in the Bengaluru drug racket were involved in money laundering under the cover of these companies.

Links to drug-peddlers

Anoop, who had admitted to supplying drugs to African students in Bengaluru, had said Bineesh provided financial assistance to start his restaurant business in the metro city.

While Bineesh confirmed that Anoop is a close friend, he denied having any knowledge of Anoop's links with the drug mafia. Bineesh said this news was a "shocking surprise".

According to the investigating team, Anoop had a big role in smuggling drugs including cocaine, LSD and MDMA into Kerala. Apparently, he has close links with several young actors and politicians in the state.

He was arrested on August 28 along with Kannada television star D Anikha and Rijosh Raveendran, a Palakkad resident.

Even though Kodiyeri Balakrishnan is trying to put a brave face by saying that his son will deal with all the issues, the opposition - the Congress and the BJP - is aggressively pursuing the case as two crucial elections are round the corner.

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