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ED arrests Bineesh Kodiyeri in money laundering case related to Bengaluru drugs seizure

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday arrested Bineesh Kodiyeri, the son of Kerala CPI(M) leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, in a money laundering case related to drugs seizure, official sources said.

They said Bineesh was arrested under relevant sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the agency wants to put him through custodial interrogation for “financing a drugs network”.

The agency later produced him before a local court that is stated to have sent him to four days’ ED custody, they added.

Sources said the central probe agency had thrice questioned Bineesh about his alleged links with an accused, M Anoop, arrested in a narcotic’s seizure case sometime ago.

Before his arrest, Bineesh was grilled by the ED at its zonal office in the Shanthinagar area here after he appeared around 11 am on Thursday.

The ED probe stems from a case being investigated by the Narcotics Control Bureau that claimed to have busted an ecstasy pills drug trafficking racket in Karnataka in August.

The NCB had arrested M Anoop, Anikha D, R Ravindran and had said it seized 145 ecstasy or MDMA pills and over Rs 2.20 lakh cash from a hotel apartment here that time.

The federal anti-narcotics agency had also said some “prominent musicians and actors” in Karnataka are under its scanner after this operation.

They are accused of supplying drugs to Kannada film actors and singers.

The ED money laundering case is based on this criminal complaint of the NCB. Sources had alleged that Bineesh has links with M Anoop and the two had some purported phone conversations. Bineesh’s role also came under the scanner in connection with his alleged links between a key accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case and a prime accused in the Bengaluru drug seizure case.

Earlier, the youth wing of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) had alleged that Bineesh Kodiyeri has close links with some members of a drug racket busted by the Narcotics Control Bureau in Bengaluru recently.

Youth League General Secretary P K Firos had alleged that Bineesh had invested money in a hotel business launched by Anoop in Kammanahalli in 2015 and demanded a comprehensive investigation into it.

Bineesh has maintained that he knew Anoop and his family and the latter had borrowed money from him and some others for setting up the restaurant business in Bengaluru a few years ago.