Bineesh Kodiyeri, the second son of Kerala CPM State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, had remitted large amounts of money to a drug peddler’s account in Bengaluru, the Enforcement Department’s (ED) custodial plea submitted in the court reveals.
The custodial plea seen by The Lede reveals that Anoop Mohammed, a drug peddler who was arrested by ED on October 17 in the Bengaluru drug case, Anoop had received big sums of money from Bineesh.
The custodial plea also reveals that Anoop stated that Bineesh is his boss.
Hearing the plea, ED’s Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Court in Bengaluru had granted the custody of Bineesh till November 02.
In the plea, quoting Anoop’s admission, ED has stated that Anoop was made “Benamidar” of a restaurant by Bineesh.
“Anoop had also agreed that Bineesh was his boss and he did whatever Bineesh told him to do for which Bineesh used to pay him,” the custody plea reads.
Additionally, the plea adds that “accused (Bineesh) deposited a huge amount of funds through bank transfers into Anoop’s account.”
Anoop was arrested in the Bengaluru drug case along with Kannada television star D Anikha and Rijosh Raveendran, a Palakkad resident, on August 28.
During the first phase of questioning on October 6, Bineesh had stated that he had given Rs 6 lakh to Anoop for starting the hotel “Hayath” at Kammanahalli in Bengaluru. Anoop was running a readymade garment business in Kochi, earlier.
However, a source in ED told The Lede that “there are discrepancies in the amount. We have found the trail of huge transactions. It’s not just Rs 6 lakhs. That’s why Bineesh has been taken into custody.”
“There are chances that the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) may also take Bineesh under custody,” the source added.
Dubai Job, Cinema, Cricket
Bineesh has been a controversial figure for the last two decades in Kerala. In 2012, there were questions raised on Bineesh’s academic qualifications when he was working as vice president of Arab Gulf-based Keralite businessman Ravi Pillai’s company’s India division in UAE.
Between 2006-11, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, father of Bineesh was the Home Minister of Kerala.
Later on, Bineesh had moved to Kerala and started acting in a few films during which time he had reportedly met Anoop. He had also become a member of the Kerala Cricket Academy.
In addition to business and film interests in South India, Bineesh is a regular visitor to Gulf countries where his brother Binoy Kodiyeri is employed.
Binoy Faced Travel Ban
In 2018, Binoy was held up in the UAE as the Emirati authorities slapped a travel ban on him for a cheating case filed by an Emirati travel agency owner.
The Emirati even travelled to India, had reportedly met CPM leaders in Delhi, and announced a press conference in Kerala. However, in hours, the Emirati backtracked and it is rumoured that Keralite businessmen had paid the money to the Emirati. The Lede was unable to verify this independently.
According to the ED source, they may initiate a probe on “who settled the money for the Emirati” too.
Later on, in early 2019, Binoy got embroiled in a rape and cheating case.
The rape case was filed by a Bihar native now residing in Mumbai. The 33-year-old woman, who earlier worked as a bar dancer in Dubai, had alleged that Binoy sexually abused her after promising marriage and that they have a child through this relationship.
Binoy had dismissed the allegation and said the woman was trying to blackmail him. However, he had to submit to a DNA test.
Interestingly, in October 2019, the Mumbai high court postponed the next hearing of Binoy’s plea to quash the rape case against him by two years.
The decision to put off the case to June 2021 came after the investigating officers from the Oshiwara police station informed the division bench that the result of the DNA test conducted on Binoy will be delayed as the Directorate of Forensic Science Laboratories in Kalina has been overburdened with work.
It was subsequently reported that the Bihari woman had asked for Rs 5 crore as compensation and that the matter was “settled.”
Roy Mathew, a senior journalist in Kerala, told The Lede that both sons of Kerala CPM State Secretary had become an embarrassment for real Communist cadres.
“This party seems to have forgotten their plenum report adoptions that not only party cadres but also their family members should be clean,” Roy said.
A CPM central committee 2009 document says: “There are complaints against party members about amassing wealth disproportionate to their known source of income. The family members of party leaders and elected representatives should be careful about such issues. They should refrain from amassing wealth illegally by using their positions. It is not right to use official positions for such transactions or for taking bribes.”
The CPM state Plenum 2015 had also flagged such dangers. “In many instances, the leadership often turns a blind eye towards comrades with the habit of alcoholism, those indulging in real estate activities and blade mafia activities and thus in effect support such illegal activities. This is as good as committing an illegal act. If a comrade has wealth disproportionate to his known source of income then that brings disgrace and bad name to the party as a whole,” the party code of conduct stated.
While CPM state secretary and Bineesh’s father Kodiyeri Balakrishnan did not comment on the arrest, he had earlier distanced himself from his son when the allegations of his involvement in the narcotics case had first come up.