KOZHIKODE /KOCHI: From gold smuggling and fake currency racketeering to drug abuse and extortion; you name it, and they have done it. Though drawing a parallel with the Bollywood-D Company nexus may sound slightly far-fetched, recent developments indicate Mollywood too was wedded to organised crime syndicates.
Barring Kerala Police, almost all the enforcement agencies - Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Enforcement Directorate (ED), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Customs - have stumbled upon Mollywood’s alleged tryst with criminals.
On January 31, 2015, the Police raided a flat in Kadavanthra in Kochi and took five people into custody including actor Shine Tom Chacko, assistant director Blessy and three models, besides seizing 10 grams of cocaine. Though the incident created a big hue and cry, the investigation failed to unearth the real gravity of the murky narcotic dealings in the industry.
The most shocking of all previous cases was the one where model Shravya Sudhakar - the winner of a South Indian beauty pageant - revealed in December 2013 a major gold smuggler identified as T K Faiz had links with Mollywood figures.
Faiz, the key accused in the Nedumbassery gold smuggling case, was a close acquaintance of many directors and actors. As per Shravya’s statement, it was Faiz who introduced her to some Customs officers including Deputy Commissioner Madhavan and Assistant Commissioner Sunil Kumar at the Cochin International Airport.
Apart from enjoying close links with several politicians and police officers, Faiz had close rapport with many senior actors and was a frequent visitor to many high-profile events.
“Though the investigation is yet to be completed, the role of people in Malayalam film industry in the racket is yet to be seriously probed,” a Customs officer privy to the case told Express.A photo posted by Faiz on his FB page showing the then Ernakulam ACP Sunil Jacob straddling Faiz’s luxury bike had landed the police officer in big trouble.
It was alleged the ACP had unholy links with the gold smuggler. Interestingly, the ACP had a close association with many in the film industry and, in fact, had acted in the blockbuster film “Mumbai Police”.
A senior Customs officer, who investigated the gold smuggling case, said the investigation agency had received ample evidence to link the smugglers with the Malayalam tinsel world. “Since our mandate was limited to probing the economic offences, the Customs investigation didn’t touch the sleazy underbelly of the case,” he said.
The case hogged the limelight after Shravya told the officers actress Mythili had introduced her to Faiz. Interestingly, the actress - after being quizzed in the gold smuggling case donned the cap of an assistant director in a film based on gold smuggling shot by ace director Ranjith.
Former SCRB chief and Women’s Commission director Zachariah George told ‘Express’ it is true none of the cases involving the film stars witnessed a deep-rooted investigation, due to various factors.
A senior cop said one of the main beneficiaries in these cases were the corrupt officers as the booked criminals often confess some vital information about the shady underbelly of their trade. The tainted cops then convert the information into either money or ‘women’ and the probe into these types of cases would slowly hit a dead end after a superficial probe.