Kerala gold smuggling case: ED interrogates Kerala CPI(M) secretary’s son for 11 hours
Trouble began for Kodiyeri after Bengaluru drug racket accused Anoop Mohammad gave a statement to the Narcotics Control Bureau in which he mentioned his name.Updated: Sep 10, 2020, 00:32 IST
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday grilled Kerala CPI (M) secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son Bineesh Kodiyeri for more than 11 hours in connection with the sensational gold smuggling and Bengaluru drug haul cases.
He was let off after the marathon interrogation but officials who are part of the multi-agency probe said he was not given a clean chit and will be summoned again. When he was summoned, Kodiyeri sought a week’s time but the ED has turned down his request and asked him to be present before it immediately.
Trouble began for Kodiyeri after Bengaluru drug racket accused Anoop Mohammad gave a statement to the Narcotics Control Bureau in which he mentioned his name.
He said Bineesh Kodiyeri, second son of Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, had helped him a lot in his “business venture”. His name also figured prominently in the call list of Mohammad. A day before his arrest (August 28) both had talked several times, the leaked call list showed.
Later, Bineesh admitted that he knew Mohammad and helped him in opening a hotel in Bengaluru, but he was not aware of his alleged drug dealings. But later the ED found that two shell companies floated by Kodiyeri, “B Capital Solutions” and “B Capital Forex”, were allegedly involved in many shoddy deals. Floated in 2015, both firms had failed to file tax returns and other formalities and the ED suspects these firms were floated for alleged money laundering and hawala transactions.
During investigation, the ED has also found that there is close link between the smuggling and psychedelic drug cases. Earlier in the day opposing the bail application of three other accused in smuggling case the ED said there was a close link between the two cases. It also said it needs to question 20 more people including some influential personalities in connection with the gold smuggling.
There are reports that Mohammad allegedly played a key role in smuggling drugs like LSD and MDMA into Kerala and he was close to many film actors. Officials now suspect that he was also instrumental in bringing Russian musician Vasily Markelov aka Psykovsky who was arrested from a star hotel in Kochi in 2015 during a rave party.
The musician was allegedly found possessing a psychedelic drug named “Russian Secret,” believed to be a concoction of substances like hashish and marijuana. Later, the NCB found that the sample seized from the musician was tampered before it was sent to chemical examination. The seized drug later turned out to be “milk powder”.
There were also reports that a person who gave a statement to the police mentioning Mohammad’s role was later forced to change his statement. The music event was conducted by a Bengaluru-based event management group. Many names cropped up then but later the case was hushed up.
Meanwhile, the NIA has raided a gold ornaments manufacturing unit in Coimbatore in neighbouring Tamil Nadu and detained its owner J Nandagopal. It also seized gold ornaments and cash from the unit. Some of the arrested had told the agency that a portion of the smuggled gold was brought there to convert into ornaments, a senior official said.
The smuggling case came to light on July 5 after 30 kg gold was seized from a consignment in the name of the United Arab Emirates consular office in Thiruvananthapuram. And the drug surfaced on August 28 after the arrest of Anoop Mohammad and two others. Now the investigating agencies feel there is a strong link between the two cases.
A rape and cheating case is pending against Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s elder son Binoy Kodiyeri in Mumbai. A former bar dancer in Dubai hailing from Maharashtra had filed a police compliant against him alleging rape, cheating and breach of trust. A court in Mumbai had ordered him to undergo a DNA test to prove the woman’s charge that he fathered her child. When this case cropped up the party came to Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s rescue saying “parents can’t be blamed for a grown up’s doings”.