Bineesh Kodiyeri financed the drugs racket that was busted in Bengaluru and transferred large sums of money to the account of peddler Anoop Mohammad, the Enforcement Directorate said on Friday, a day after arresting the son of CPM Kerala secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan in Bengaluru.
The agency said Anoop Mohammad acted as Bineesh’s benami for the financial dealings related to the drugs operations. These transactions have been happening since 2017, the ED said.
The racket was busted with the arrest of Anoop Mohammad and two others in Begaluru on August 28. Investigations into the case revealed the racket’s connection to the Kannada film industry, Sandalwood. During interrogations after the arrest, Anoop had said that Bineesh had helped him open a restaurant in Bengaluru and offered him financial assistance on other occasions.
The ED, in a statement, said that Mohammad had said during questioning that he Kodiyeri financed the drug operations and that he was only a ‘benami’.
“Investigations also found that a huge amount of unaccounted funds was credited in Mohammad’s account by Kodiyeri. Later, the proceeds from sale were also deposited back in various accounts of Kodiyeri,” the ED said.
Bineesh has admitted that he had helped Anoop set up the restaurant and offered him financial aid. He, however, has claimed that he had no knowledge of Anoop’s drugs operations.
Bineesh has been remanded in the ED’s custody for four days. The Narcotics Control Bureau, which is also investigating the drugs case, is also likely to seek his custody. He is currently charged by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. After NCB’s interrogation, the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act could also be invoked against him.
The ED had questioned Bineesh three times before arresting him. He was in fact arrested after the third round of questioning at the ED’s Shantinagar office in Bengaluru on Thursday (October 29).