Kerala gold smuggling case has links with drug trade, says official

The key accused in the drug case Anoop Mohammad was in constant touch with K T Ramees, an accused in the gold smuggling case, an official said.
Over 20 people including main accused Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair (both in the middle) have been arrested so far in the Kerala gold smuggling case(HT PHOTO)
Over 20 people including main accused Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair (both in the middle) have been arrested so far in the Kerala gold smuggling case(HT PHOTO)
Published on Sep 03, 2020 06:30 PM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram | ByHT Correspondent

Investigators probing the Kerala gold smuggling case have found strong links with a drug bust in Bengaluru on August 28 and have approached the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) for details, a senior officer who is part of the investigating team said Thursday.

“The key accused in the drug case Anoop Mohammad was in constant touch with K T Ramees, an accused in the gold smuggling case and we suspect both had connections with the international drug cartel. We found Ramees had made several trips to Africa,” the official said. “He was also the main link between smugglers, drug cartel and subversive elements”.

He said officials had initially suspected a link between gold smuggling and the drug syndicate and the latest incidents show their suspicion was justified. The National Investigation Agency which is heading the gold smuggling probe will question Mohammad soon.

Anoop Mohammad, a native of Kochi, was arrested along with two others when the NCB busted a major drug racket in Bengaluru. In his statement to the NCB, which was later leaked to the media, he mentioned the name of Bineesh Kodiyeri, second son of CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, and said he helped him a lot in his “business venture.”

Bineesh Kodiyeri later acknowledged that he knew Anoop Mohammad since 2013 but he had no idea about his drug dealings. “I was really shocked after his arrest. I know him very well and funded him setting up a hotel. I never knew about his involvement in drugs,” he said. He claimed his name was dragged due to political reasons.

There are also reports Mohammad took names of many film personalities in Kochi whom he regularly supplied some ecstasy pills nicknamed “Acid and Molly.” The NCB said Mohammad was active in drug business since 2015.

The opposition Congress and BJP also said the gold smuggling and drug seizure were closely linked.

“Anoop Mohammad is just a proxy of Bineesh Kodiyeri. Many other names including that of some film artists will surface soon,” said BJP president K Surendran. Kodiyeri on his part said he was ready for any investigation.

Meanwhile the BJP has raised another allegation against the Left Front government saying an imposter had signed some files when chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan went to the United States for treatment in September 2018. BJP spokesman Sandeep Warrier said it was not a digital signature and asked the CM to reveal who signed important files in his absence. Vijayan yet to react to the latest allegation.

At least 20 people have been arrested so far in tehgold smuggling case after the racket was detected on July 5 following the seizure of 30 kg of the yellow metal from a consignment came in the name of an employee of the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, May 29, 2022