Noose tightens around Saiju Thankachan as probe into models' death gains steam

Kochi City Police Commissioner CH Nagaraju, Saiju Thankachan. Photo: Manorama

Kochi: Police investigating the car accident that claimed the lives of models Ansi Kabeer and Anjana Shajan have found that a suspected drug peddler,  Saiju Thankachan,  who chased them in another vehicle was active in luring youths who attended night parties and making them part of his racket.

"The accident which killed the models occured as they were forced to speed away from Saiju's car," City Police Commissioner CH Nagaraju informed. 

The inquiry team also found that Saiju threatened the models and followed their car on the night of October 31 after the duo ignored his overtures.

The models decided to leave the No 18 Hotel premises during midnight itself on October 31 after they felt unbearable with the interference of Saiju at a DJ party there.

The driver of the car in which models travelled, Abdul Rahman, deposed to the cops that he drove away at the maximum speed to evade Saiju, who had earlier blocked their vehicle at Kundanoor on the National Highway and threatened the models with dire consequences if they did not obey him.

Saiju had asked the models to stay at his home or at a hotel during the night and continue their travel the next day.

It was also revealed in the police investigation that Saiju used to record in his mobile phone the visuals of each drug transaction in which he was involved. He also used to record the use of drugs by those who were trapped. Later, Saiju used to blackmail them by showing these visuals. 

All those who were trapped by Saiju were afraid of approaching the police against him.

JOINT QUESTIONING 

The scheduled joint questioning of driver Saiju Thankachan and No 18 hotel owner Roy Vayallat did not take off as the latter, who had been earlier admitted to a private hospital with various complaints, was not discharged from hospital on Monday.

Roy, who complained of uneasiness during questioning, was admitted to the Aluva District Hospital.

Meanwhile, the police custody of Saiju will end on Tuesday afternoon and later, he will be produced before the court.

DRUG TRAFFICKING THROUGH KAMBAMMETTU 

The police have found that almost 50 teams, mostly students and youths from the districts of Ernakulam and Kottayam, are operating for the drug trafficking mafia, which is based in Kambammettu, the town bordering Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

The ganja is trafficked from Kambammettu to Muvattupuzha via Idukki and Thodupuzha. Earlier, only 10 to 15 cases of drug trafficking were registered at the Kambammettu checkpost. But astonishingly, more than 100 such cases are being registered at the check-post these days.

Recently, a woman from Muvattupuzha with her child and lover was nabbed by the police at the checkpost while trying to traffic drugs to Kerala.

The woman and her child were actually used as a shield by the youth to evade police scrutiny. The woman and her child were later released. The youth is now lodged at a jail in Tamil Nadu. Similar cases are reported on a regular basis.

The racket often take ganja procured from the States of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha to Kambammettu. Then it is supplied to the Kochi drug mafia using carriers.  

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