ED arrests Bineesh Kodiyeri in drug case; second arrest with close ties to Kerala CM’s office
On Thursday, October 29, the Enforcement Directorate has arrested Bineesh Kodiyeri, son of CPI (M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, in connection with a drug bust case in Bengaluru. The officers have taken Bineesh to a civil court in the city and will be demanding a remand of four days.
Bineesh had arrived at the ED zonal office for interrogation at 11 am today. This is ED’s second arrest in relation to government in Kerala. The Directorate had arrested M Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, late Wednesday in connection with the gold smuggling case that had taken centre space in Kerala media. The case had invited the wrath of several central investigation agencies. With Bineesh’s arrest, ED has created a double lock sealing the CPI (M)-led government on the party side as well as the administration side. With Bineesh’s father being the party secretary and Sivasankar’s alleged status as Pinarayi Vijayan’s close ally, the government is feeling the heat from all sides.
Bineesh came into ED’s radar when the Bengaluru Narcotics Control Bureau had seized one Mohammed Anoop with a large collection of MDMA pills. In the course of the investigation, the officers learnt that there had been cash transactions between Anoop and Bineesh. While there is the case of Rs 50 lakh being transferred to Anoop’s account, Bineesh, in an earlier interrogation with ED, had admitted that he had transferred small amounts to Anoop to help him financially. The Directorate has charged him under the relevant sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act — very similar to the case against Sivasankar.
Following the arrest, opposition parties have addressed media persons calling for the resignation of CM Pinarayi Vijayan. Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala alleged that the CM’s office is being used for illegal and organised criminal activities.