Further probe ordered into 'pot advocate' Martin's dealings

Francis Nevin Augustine. Photo: Manorama Online

Thiruvananthapuram: Multiple agencies will further investigate the dealings of Francis Nevin Augustine, alias Mattancherry Martin, arrested after a video, purportedly of the 34-year-old vlogger, encouraging an under-aged girl to use cannabis went viral on social media.

The Kerala Police have launched a probe into the Fort Kochi Beach Road resident's financial dealings, besides checking the details of his foreign trips. His phone records, especially calls made to overseas numbers, too, are under scrutiny.

Earlier, the excise vigilance wing reported grave failure on the excise officials after a video of Martin delivering a sermon on the benefits of cannabis while in custody.

Following the incident, Excise Commissioner S Ananthakrishnan directed the vigilance wing police superintendent K Mohammad Shafi to investigate the video shot inside the excise office.

The probe would cover how the accused could sing and encourage the use of cannabis, how the video was recorded and the details of officials present while the video was shot.

Martin was arrested by a team led by Mattacherry range excise inspector two days ago. The officials found themselves in trouble after his pro-cannabis sermon, made while in custody, went public.

Minister for Excise M V Govindan, meanwhile, said strict action would be initiated against officials involved in the incident.  

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