Bineesh Kodiyeri sent huge sums to drug peddler: ED

Bineesh Kodiyeri remitted huge unaccounted funds into drug peddler's account, says ED

The ED alleged that the "drug peddler" in this case, Mohammed Anoop, was a 'benamidar' of Bineesh

Bineesh Kodiyeri, (L), son of Kerala CPI(M) leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. Credit: PTI Photo

Bineesh Kodiyeri, the son Kerala CPI(M) Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan's son who was arrested in connection with a money laundering case arising out of a drug peddling investigation, allegedly credited a "huge amount of unaccounted funds" into the bank accounts of a drug peddler, the Enforcement Directorate said on Friday.

Bineesh was placed under custody on Thursday by the ED in Bengaluru following which he was sent to custody for interrogation till November 2. His arrest came following his questioning over the past few days after apprehending an alleged drug peddler Anoop Mohammed.

The ED has claimed that Anoop was Bineesh's benamidar, a person who holds the benami property for the beneficiary.

Bineesh's arrest, which came a day after the arrest of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's former Principal Secretary M Sivasankar by the ED in a case related to gold smuggling, has cornered the CPI(M) and the Kerala government. The Opposition has been demanding Vijayan's resignation while the CPI(M) is maintaining that Sivasankar and Bineesh were acting on their own and the party or the government had no hand in it.

Also Read: Opposition targets LDF after arrest of Bineesh Kodiyeri; CPI(M) rejects demands for CM Pinarayi Vijayan's resignation

The agency registered a complaint on the basis of a case filed by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) after arresting Anoop and two others in August. The NCB had then cracked a racket allegedly involved in selling ecstasy pills and other party drugs to actors and others in the entertainment industry.

It had taken Anoop into custody on October 17 and during his interrogation, the ED claimed, he told interrogators that he was indulging in the sale and purchase of narcotics drugs and was "closely associated" with Bineesh Kodiyeri. Anoop also held "various bank accounts and indulged in transferring/layering of huge proceeds of crime" into various accounts.

"Fund trail investigation also established that a huge amount of unaccounted funds were being regularly credited in his accounts by Bineesh Kodiyeri. These were preceded by large cash deposits in Kerala into the accounts of Bineesh Kodiyeri," ED claimed.

"Anoop is a Benamidar of Bineesh Kodiyeri and all his financial dealings were done on the instructions of Bineesh Kodiyer who had paid huge amounts of money to Anoop. He (Bineesh) could not explain these cash and fund transactions and was completely evasive in his replies," it added.

Bineesh had earlier denied any wrongdoing though he admitted that he knew Anoop and his family and the latter had borrowed money from him and some others for setting up a restaurant in Bengaluru.

Sources said Bineesh had told interrogators that he had loaned Rs 6 lakh to Anoop but the latter is claimed to have told ED that he received around Rs 50 lakh from him.