Bengaluru: Bineesh Kodiyeri, son of CPI(M) Kerala state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a probe over the money-trail in the Bengaluru drug racket case on Thursday.
Bineesh was arrested under relevant sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the agency wants to put him through custodial interrogation for "financing a drugs network".
The agency later produced him before a local court which sent him to four days' ED custody.
Earlier on the day, Bineesh was questioned at the agency's office in Bengaluru for six hours over his alleged links to Mohammed Anoop, an accused in the drugs case busted by Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in August. Soon after the questioning, he was taken to court and his arrest recorded. This was the third time that the ED questioned Bineesh in a span of two months.
During their raids in Bengaluru, NCB recovered a huge cache of party drugs from Anoop and during the course of the investigation that followed, Bineesh's name surfaced.
Anoop, in his statement, had said Bineesh had lent him Rs 50 lakh to set up a restaurant in Kammanahalli in Bengaluru. However, the latter has maintained that he and Anoop were friends and that he had given him a loan of Rs 6 lakh and another Rs 15,000 since Anoop had no money to return home from Bengaluru.
According to the investigating team, Anoop had a big role in smuggling drugs including cocaine, LSD, MDMA into Kerala.
It was also learned that Anoop 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.
“Keralites have no choice but to hang their heads in shame,” Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said reacting to the incident.
He also alleged the Trivandrum Airport gold smuggling case and the Bengaluru drug racket are connected.
However, the CPM has said that Bineesh is not a party leader and the party cannot be held responsible for any wrongdoing on his part.
The Enforcement Director 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.
The ED had also directed the state Registration Department to prepare a list of his assets and to see that there was no transfer or sale of his assets without the agency's knowledge.