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Drug Case: ED Raids Bineesh Kodiyeri’s House in Thiruvananthapuram

Drug Case: ED Raids Bineesh Kodiyeri’s House in Thiruvananthapuram
On Wednesday (4th September, 2020) an Enforcement Directorate (ED) team from Karnataka raided the home of Binesh Kodiyeri. Binesh Kodiyeri is the son of the State secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.

Bineesh was arrested on August 29 on drug trafficking-related money laundering charges in Bengalauru by ED. At least six ED officials escorted by Karnataka police and Central Reserve Police personnel descended on "Kodiyeri", an estimated 4,500 square feet house in the leafy and quiet neighbourhood, at around 9.30 a.m. This house purchased in 2013 from a ranking police official by Bineesh.

The house was locked when the investigators came and after an hour. Bineesh's wife and in-laws arrived and opened the house for the ED team. Anticipating the ED's inspection, a phalanx of television camera persons and journalists had staked out outside the house of  Bineesh. 

Neither the officers nor Bineesh's family spoke to the media persons.

At the same time, another ED team arrived at an expensive car accessory showroom in Kesavadasapuram owned by Abdul Latheef. They closeted inside the showroom with him. 

Many "Benamidars" were in the name of Bineesh with "created assets in their name to avoid detection" and possibly conceal the allegedly ill-gotten wealth. Mr. Latheef was also taken in custody by ED in order to confront him with the "voluminous documents and digital evidence" its agents had purportedly ferreted out. At least two hotels and a foreign currency exchange business were co-invested by Mr. Latheef and Mr. Bineesh.

The office of a real estate firm, Torress Remedies was also inspected near the Government Secretariatas it was suspected that Bineesh had a stake in the firm. The company had recently acquired properties in Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam.

Two companies involved in organising celebrity sporting events. Were also inspected and the house of one Al Jassam Abdul Jabbar in Nedumangadu. Sources had informed that Bineesh had purchased several high-end cars in the name of the businessperson.

The ED inspected the premises of persons associated with two cricket clubs owned by Bineesh and the Kerala Cricket Association in Kannur.

An official said the ED team from Bengaluru would remain in Kerala for a week to trace the proceeds from the crime, identify diversions, single out "end users" and confiscate properties involved in money laundering. It had earlier issued notice to the Registration Department to freeze Bineesh's known properties, including his residence. The agency was likely to add more properties to the list, officials said.

A Kochi resident named Muhammad Anoop was arrested in April on drug charges by the Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) in Bangalore which had led to the arrest of Mr. Bineesh by the ED. The ED had described Anoop as a "drug peddler" according to court filings. A massive infusion of funds into Kodiyeri's account was found in Kerala from questionable sources often preceded his periodic cash transfers to Anoop and Mr. Bineesh could not explain the fund transfers.

The ED said Bineesh wielded "considerable power and influence" and he could "scuttle the investigation and destroy evidence" in the case. Bineesh held "many bank accounts". According to the investigation and he was also accused of committing the offence of money laundering by transferring/layering of vast proceeds of crime into various accounts.

NCB is likely to examine Bineesh after his time in ED custody ends.


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