Three arrested in illegal Kochi flats case

Kochi: The Kerala Police’s Crime Branch, probing if there was a nexus between officials and builders in the apartment complex whose demolition was ordered by the Supreme Court for violating the Coastal Regulation Zone rules, on Tuesday arrested three people, a top official said.

Crime Branch head Tomin Thachenkery told media persons that three people, including two officials, have been arrested.

“They will be produced before the court tomorrow (on Wednesday)… the probe is going on and if there is evidence against anyone, then they also will be arrested. The charges against those who have been arrested include corruption, conspiracy and similar charges,” he said.

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The arrested people were identified as Mohammed Ashraf, the then Maradu Panchayath Secretary, then junior superindent P.E. Joseph and Sany Mathew, MD of Holy Faith Builders who build one of the flat complexes.

While Mathew was asked to present himself before the Crime Branch officials on Thursday, a team of them went to his office and took him into custody.

Ashraf and Mathew have been appearing before the probe team and they recorded the arrest of all the three.

This arrest comes at a time when Paulraj, who owns Alfa Ventures, whose flat complex is also being knocked down, approached the court for anticipatory bail.

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After feeble resistance, all the 240 families who occupied flats in the four buildings in the Maradu complex, which comprises 356 flats, left early this month.

The district administration has also zeroed down on professional experts engaged in demolition and will soon hand over the buildings as according to the scheme, these buildings have to be brought down in around 120 days of the demolition beginning.

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