CPM Leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan's Son Held in Drugs Case, Yechury Says No Crisis in Party
File photo of Bineesh Kodiyeri, son of CPI(M)’s Kerala secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.
In what can be seen as a major setback to the CPI(M), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday arrested party secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son Bineesh Kodiyeri in a narcotics case.
Kodiyeri's arrest came a day after the arrest of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s former secretary M Sivasankar in a money laundering case.
Kodiyeri was summoned to the ED's Bengaluru office from where he was arrested around 11 in the morning as he reportedly failed to give convincing answers about the alleged funding of an alleged drug racket after a three-hour questioning, a senior officer said. He will be produced in a court later.
Sources said that Rs 50 lakh made its way into the account of one of the accused, Anoop Mohammed, which ED officials believe were at least partly routed by Kodiyeri to allegedly finance the drug business. Mohammed reportedly took the name of the CPI(M) secretary’s son during interrogation.
ED officials said that during his questioning Kodiyeri admitted that he knew Mohammad and helped him set up a hotel in Bengaluru though he denied knowledge of any drug dealing.
During investigation into the gold smuggling case, the ED also found that there was a close link between gold smuggling and the psychedelic drug case. The smuggling case came to light on July 5 after 30 kg gold was seized from a consignment that had arrived in the name of the United Arab Emirates consular office in Thiruvananthapuram.
The drug case surfaced on August 28 after the arrest of Mohammad and two others in Bengaluru. There are reports that the third accused in the gold smuggling case KT Ramees is a friend of Mohammad.
CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said in Delhi that there was no crisis in the party or the government in Kerala and Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had made his position very clear that the party would not interfere in the ongoing case.
The drugs case is not the only trouble that Bineesh has found himself in. On September 9, the ED had questioned him in connection with the ongoing controversial Kerala gold smuggling case.
At the time, the ED had registered a case against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. It had asked the District Registrar General that his properties be frozen, with no transactions to be allowed on them.