The solar panel fraud case, involving Biju Radhakrishnan and Saritha S Nair, has more than what meets the eye as many political leaders, senior government officials and police officers were close to the duo while they were having a free run in the state for the past two years.
Investigating officers have, over the past few days, reportedly stumbled upon information that throws light on the network of the duo and their connections. Sources said efforts were on to collect details of their network.
The special investigation team probing the fraud has collected details of a complaint lodged by a travel agent in a police station here that Saritha owed him lakhs of rupees for air tickets booked for many from April 1, 2012 to January 30, 2013.
Top police officers said it was still a mystery how the two, who had a criminal background, managed to develop a strong network. "It's all rotten down to the core. A section of police officers and government officials deliberately kept mum to support their fraud. It was with the support of these officials that Biju and Saritha established the connections," one of them said.
It was in 2009 that Saritha and Biju were arrested in Thiruvananthapuram in a fraud case and housed in Poojapura central jail for six months. Ironically, it was from Saritha that police got the information on the murder of Biju's wife Reshmi. "Right from 2010, Saritha has been a frequent visitor to many offices of police officers and top government officials. The SIT will probe how they managed to stay away from the eyes of the police department all these years," the officer said.
Even the Kollam Crime Branch's claim that it was on Biju's trail for the past few months is hard to believe as he was freely touring the state. The claim also fell flat when police officers concerned made it clear that Biju went into hiding only when Saritha was arrested by Perumbavoor police team in connection with the fraud.
Surprisingly, Saritha was nabbed by Perumbavoor police at a time when another team led by a sub inspector from Thalassery was about to arrest her based on the complaints lodged by a few doctors who lost money in the fraud ventures.