Gold smuggling, hawala case: ED grills CPI-M leader’s son

Thiruvananthapuram

In continuing trouble for the Pinarayi Vijayan government and the ruling CPI-M in Kerala, investigators of the ED are quizzing Bineesh Kodiyeri, the son of state party secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, in a search for a crucial link between gold smuggling throu­gh the diplomatic cha­n­nels and the hawala rackets that fund the clandestine operations.

Bineesh Kodiyeri, whose exploits in the past have landed his father in trouble, has been found to be in close contact with a Bengaluru-based drug mafia with links to a key suspect in the gold smuggling case.

It tipped off the sleuths about a nexus between the drug racket and the gold smuggling and the possible role of the party secretary’s son. His probe at the ED’s Kochi office began at 11am and completed in 7 hours.

The probes are understood to have centred on a Thiruvananthapuram-based business and two firms based in Bengaluru. Gold smuggling kingpin Swapna Suresh had told the investigators she had received commission from the Thiruvananthapuram-based UAFX Solutions Private Ltd for winning the company a deal from the UAE consulate. The company is believed to be run by a benami of Bineesh.

Bineesh had also set up two companies in 2015, now defunct as their licences were cancelled due to the failure to file annual reports. ED is investigating if the companies were meant to undertake illegal transactions.

One of the key suspects nabbed in the substance abuse racket in the Kannada film industry had told the Narcotic Bureau sleuths that Bineesh Kodiyeri had provided him financial assistance.

Opposition UDF is pressuring the ruling front for the suspected role of the son of the party secy in the gold, drug and havala rackets and asking the CPI-M and the govt for their reaction. RSP leader Shibu Baby John has said the govt and the party cannot shrug off the responsibility to let their position be known. He alleged the sta­te administration under CM Pinarayi Vijayan has been taken over by mafias.

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