Now, NCB seeks Bineesh Kodiyeri's custody, Bengaluru court to hear plea on Monday

Bineesh Kodiyeri
Bineesh Kodiyeri in ED custody.

Bengaluru: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has sought the custody of Bineesh Kodiyeri, the CPM Kerala state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan's son, who has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money-laundering case linked to a drug seizure in Karnataka.

The NCB filed a petition in the Bengaluru City Civil and Sessions Court seeking Bineesh's custody on Saturday, hours before the ED is scheduled to produce him before the court. The court will consider the plea on Monday.

The NCB has made the request to question Bineesh in connection with the drug seizure case based on the statements given by three accused to the ED.

Anoop Mohammed, a key accused in the drug seizure case and a friend of Bineesh, had reportedly deposed before the ED that he had invested he money given by Bineesh in drugs business. Two other accused, meanwhile, gave statements to the ED that they had witnessed Bineesh using narcotics.

The NCB would decide on whether to arraign Bineesh as an accused in the case only after questioning him. The NCB usually arrests a person if he/she is in possession of drugs or when they have evidence of drug use.

Bineesh would be taken to the court on Saturday afternoon after medical tests, including that for COVID-19.

His ED custody period ends on Saturday. He is likely to be remanded in judicial custody if the ED does not seek to prolong the custody period.

The court had already extended his custody once.

Bineesh was arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on October 29.

He has been already questioned for nine days after his arrest on October 29. He was questioned till 8pm on Friday.

The ED had alleged that the "drug peddler" in the case, Mohammed Anoop, was a "benamidar" of Bineesh.

Its probe stems from an NCB investigation that claimed to have busted an ecstasy pills drug trafficking racket in Karnataka in August with the arrest of Anoop and two others.

Bineesh has maintained that he knew Anoop and his family and the latter had borrowed money from him and some others to set up a restaurant business in Bengaluru a few years ago.

Meanwhile, Bineesh's business partner Abdul Latheef is likely to be questioned by ED deputy director Rahul Sinha and team in Bengaluru on Saturday, according to sources.

Bineesh's arrest has put the ruling CPM on the defensive ahead of the local body and assembly elections in the state. The party has taken a stance that Kodiyeri cannot be linked to the deeds of his son.

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