Kochi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday filed a complaint against lottery giant Santiago Martin and his associate John Kennedy in four different cases relating to sale of lottery tickets in Kerala, sources in the federal probe agency said. Martin is the official wholesaler of Bhutan Lottery in Kerala while Kennedy is the official of Megha Distributors, the agent for Bhutan Lottery.

Last November, police in Thiruvananthapuram had registered a case against the two, both hailing from the northeastern region, after it was found that the lottery ticket of Bhutan Lottery neither had the secret code nor the official seal.

The CBI filed its FIR at the Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate court after Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on June 18 requested the central government to sanction a probe into the lottery scandal as the issue involved other states and neighbouring Bhutan as well.

The Congress had demanded the probe several times while it was in the opposition but the Communist Party of India-Marxist's (CPI-M) had not agreed.

A few years back, Martin had made fixed deposits with the CPI-M party mouthpiece 'Deshabhimani'. When reports about this appeared in the media, the CPI-M announced that they have returned the money.

In a related development, the Chandy government on Saturday issued fresh notification, which is the first step for a CBI probe in 15 cases. These cases include one where the links of Achuthanandan's son V.A. Arunkumar with Martin and others need to be probed.

Another case relates to depositing of money by way of bonds by Martin in the party newspaper.

This notification will now have to be cleared by the central government for the CBI to decide if it needs to be investigated.

(Agencies)