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IT Raids in Faris Abubacker’s Offices

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Kerala (VSK).

Income Tax Department raided the various offices of controversial businessman Faris Abubacker, said to be 92 centres, throughout the country. Raid is reported to be in connection with his real estate dealings. Officers of IT offices in Chennai, Kochi and Kozhikode were engaged in the offices of Abubacker in Kochi, Quilandy, Chennai, Bengaluru and Mumbai. Raids took place simultaneously on March 20.

It is alleged that Rs 100 cr, sans the disclosed source, had been invested in the real estate dealings in Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Bengaluru and New Delhi. Raids commenced at 8am and prolonged until late night. IT is reported to have asked Faris, now in London, to reach Chennai. IT people are reported to have raided Abubacker’s house in Nanthi, Kozhikode; there are reports that he is put up in Chennai and visits Kozhikode occasionally.

The raids are conducted in the wake of the suspicion of IT Intelligence that the investments made by the companies owned by Abubacker consist of the black monies of political leaders. IT officials recovered the documents concerning the filling of the lands when they raided in connection with the businessman’s real estate deals. Those documents are reported to be linked with about 15acre mangroves and paddy fields near Vallarppadam Container Terminal Road.

There is also allegation that National Highway Authority had to spend more to divert the road to make sure that the said land is benefitted. IT officials are reported to be guessing that political leaders within as well as without Kerala are stakeholders in this deal.

Of late, media news report that ED has also started to enquire the dealings of Abubacker.

Faris Abubacker has been in the eyes of several storms during the last couple of decades. The same time he is alleged to be a blue-eyed boy of Kerala CM and CPM supremo Pinarayi Vijayan. The other day, when Abubacker’s father died, CM is reported to have spent about three hours in the ancestral house of the controversial businessman. Political observers say that the same CM did not pay a visit even to Kochi, when the disastrous fire broke out in Brahmapuram waste land of Kochi Corporation, let alone the place of calamity.

When CPM suffered worst sort of factionalism between V.S. Achuthanandan and Pinarayi Vijayan, who were state chief minister (2006 – 2011) and CPM state secretary respectively, the former described Abubacker as persona non grata. The very next day, CPM-controlled Malayalam TV channel aired a one hour interview of the ‘hated man’. The channel MD (and now Rajya Sabha MP) John Brittas, a known lieutenant of Pinarayi, was the interviewer. At that time, gossips did the rounds that VS’s men asked the channel to air his interview next day, but channel paid no heed.

There are allegations that Abubacker carries out lot of  benami (proxy owner) land deals. Some opposition leaders allege that chief minister promoted Mohammed Riyaz, his cabinet colleague and also son-in-law, in the party due to the good rapport with him (Abubacker). There were allegations that Riaz got party ticket to contest to Lok Saha in 2009, due to Abubacker’s influence, even though he was not a popular party leader and had failed to win even a Kozhikode Corporation election he fought before that. P.C. George, former Government Chief Whip during UDF rule and leader of Janapaksham party even went to the extent of alleging that Riaz is Abubacker’s close relative.

Whatever may come out ultimately, one this is clear: This is not a music to the ears of the chief minister or his party.

The same time, the latest reports are not pleasant for Congress either. ED and IT have conducted a joint raid in the house of Thiruvanathapuram District Congress Committee (DCC) Secretary Nadira Suresh. According to reports, the officials have seized some important documents during the raids conducted from late afternoon of March 20 until 8.30pm of March 21; investigation is concerning the financial dealings of Suresh. Reports suggest that it is in the backdrop of the allegation that Suresh is Faris Abubacker’s benami.

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