Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s wife fails to appear before Customs

Former Kerala CPI-M state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s wife Vinodhini Balakrishnan, who was asked to appear before the Customs, failed to turn up before the agency on Wednesday, prompting the officials to go ahead with their procedures to see that she appears before them.

Last week, the Customs had asked Vinodhini Balakrishnan to appear before the department on Wednesday in connection with the case of the now infamous missing iPhone, which was allegedly given by Santhosh Eapen, one of the beneficiaries in the controversial Life Mission flat project.

The Customs have traced the iPhone to Vinodhini, who was found to have used it till the infamous Kerala gold smuggling case surfaced in July last year.

Eapen, who heads Unitac Builders that got the contract for the Life Mission flat project at Wadakkancherry in Thrissur, in his affidavit filed in the high court seeking to quash the FIR registered against him had mentioned that Swapna Suresh (prime accused in the gold smuggling case) had asked him to buy five iPhones, to be given to VIP guests, who were invited to participate in the UAE National Day celebrations held here in December 2019.

Trouble began after canards started that Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala was given one iPhone, but he came out sharply againt the news and threatened legal action against those who were trying to malign him.

At that time, the owner of the most expensive iPhone could not be identified. But the Customs has now managed to locate its owner and it has been found that Vinodhini was using the iPhone worth Rs 1.13 lakh.

Balakrishnan had to step down as the state secretary of the CPI-M last year after his younger son Bineesh Kodiyeri was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in Bengaluru, after his close friend was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau and even now he continues to be in jail there.

His elder son Binoy Kodiyeri is also entangled in a case where a Bihari lady has approached the Mumbai High Court, stating that her child is the son of Binoy, who is already married and has a family.