Karnataka HC grants bail to Bineesh Kodiyeri in money-laundering case
The Karnataka High Court on Thursday granted bail to Bineesh Kodiyeri, son of senior Kerala CPI (M) leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on money laundering charges linked to a drug haul in Bengaluru last year.
The single judge bench of Justice MG Uma granted bail to Kodiyeri under several conditions overruling objections of Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi who appeared for the ED. The counsel for the accused Guru Krishnakumar contended that the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) after its detailed investigation failed to find any involvement of Kodiyeri in the drug trade and his transaction with some of the accused were through banks.
He also said his client was not aware of the alleged drug dealings of his business partner Mohammad Anoop. But the ED’s counsel said he amassed huge wealth and funding for this came through his business partner who was involved in a drug cartel in Bengaluru. However, the court overruled his contentions. “The bail is allowed subject to conditions,” the judge said while granting him bail.
His father, CPI (M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, had to quit last year after the case surfaced and it invited enough embarrassment for the party and government. A small-time actor and cricket player, controversy was Kodiyeri’s companion but he got away due to his high connections. He was also close to many actors and businessmen.
The drug case surfaced in August 2020 after the arrest of Anoop Mohammad and two others in Bengaluru and Mohammad later divulged the name of Bineesh Kodiyeri and said he was his business partner. Later the ED took over the case and Kodiyeri was arrested and charged under Section 19(1) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The ED said he pumped in unaccounted for money into the bank account of alleged drug peddler Anoop Mohammad and got hefty returns from it.