Nagaland cop turned billionaire built Rs 4000 crore worth business empire. I-T raids unearthed huge money transactions through his family members’ bank accounts. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surgical strike on black money has a victim in Kerala. It was demonetisation that ruined MKR Pillai, a Nagaland cop turned Kerala billionaire.
If Pillai and Sreevalsam Business group based in Kulanada had not declared Rs 50 crore black money during post-demonetisation era, his unaccounted wealth would have remained hidden at least for few more years. The I-T raids conducted in 28 premises in Kerala and Nagaland revealed shady deals, benami transactions and huge assets owned by Pillai family.
When raids were progressing, Sreevalsam group declared Rs 100 crore as unaccounted.
“He was matriculate and born in a poor family. His father used to sell country made soda in a bicycle. During mid-seventies, several youths from our village joined Nagaland Police. Only Rajasekharan Pillai remained in the service and others left the service,” G Reghunath, former Panchayath president, Kulanada told India Today.
According to him, Pillai started his business in 2003 and it was initially run by his relatives.
“They were in the real estate and made huge profit,” Reghunath said.
Reghunath who is also a local Congress leader was attacked when he resisted the move of Sreevalsam group to fill 8 acres of wet lands in Kulanada.
“Then I was the President of the Kulanada Panchayath. I received a petition from the local people that Sreevalsam group is filling vast areas of paddy fields in the area. I issued stop memo. On 2008 February 20, I was attacked by goons when I was at home. But police investigations were aborted. Later Revenue Department legalized the conversion of land,” Reghunath explained the mighty power of Pillai group in Kerala.
According to another congress leader, a former governor of Nagaland influenced Congress leaders in favour of Pillai and hushed up the case.
After I-T raids, Nagaland Vigilance Commission has registered suo moto case against MKR Pillai on his appointment as Consultant and FIR was registered at Vigilance Police Station Kohima on June 12. But Pillai remains in the Official Police website as MTO/Consultant.
According to senior police official in Nagaland, MKR Pillai virtually “controlled Nagaland police at least for one and a half decade”.
“He was most powerful non-IPS official in the state and close links with senior officials and politicians. Many DGPs trusted him blindly and heavily. While in the service, Pillai was handling vehicles wing and handling purchase section. But I was not aware that he had built a business empire in his home state,” the police official told India Today.
According to him, Pillai had access to all and treated as a “friend in need”.
Now I-T department has alerted Enforcement Directorate and Directorate Revenue Intelligence to probe further about the assets of Pillai’s business empire. It’s suspected that Pillai with the help of senior police officials and politicians siphoned huge amount of unaccounted funds marked for counter extremism in Nagaland. Earlier MRK Pillai was under police scanner for using police vehicles for smuggling operations. But he was acquitted after the probe.
I-T raids and media reports on Pillai’s business empire triggered tremors in political and bureaucratic circles in Kerala and Nagaland. Communist Party of India Alappuzha district Secretary T.J Anjalsoe alleged that MKR Pillai and his business group were supported by Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala without naming him.
According to Anjalose, Sreevlasam group received many undue favours for its operations from then Congress Minister. But Chennithala rejected the allegations and demanded a CBI probe on the business operations of MKR Pillai.
“I’ve written to Chief Minister demanding a CBI probe as media reports indicate that Pillai had amazed huge wealth within a short period. CPI is making allegations with a political motive to malign my image,” Chennithala told India Today.
Now many political leaders claim that they have not dealt with Pillai in the past.
But huge wealth and business operations done by Sreevalsam group during 2008-17 surprised investigating agencies.