Starting off by doing odd jobs after moving to the Middle East in the 1980s, arrested NRI businessman C.C. Thampi's story is a typical rags-to-riches one. The Enforcement Directorate arrested him on Friday evening in the wake of investigations against Congress leader Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra, allegedly involving money laundering vis-a-vis assets worth 1.9 million pounds in the UK. Thampi was sent in three-day ED custody by Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar on Saturday evening.
Hailing from Thrissur district in Kerala, Thampi's life changed for the better after he landed up in the Middle East in the eighties.
Starting off by doing odd jobs, he then set up his own business. After almost a quarter of a century operating from his business base in the UAE, he now owns a string of businesses across various sectors and in multiple locations both in and outside the Gulf country ranging from educational institutions, resorts, distilleries and real estate.
Though many in his home town Thrissur are yet to figure out his meteoric rise in business, it is pertinent to mention here that his upward mobility gained momentum after he reportedly became close to Congress veteran K. Karunakaran, whose relations with Thrissur are too well known.
After gaining the confidence of Karunakaran, who for close to two decades from the eighties onwards was the byword in Congress politics in Kerala and nationally too for a brief while, Thampi had no reason to look back.
From then onwards, Thampi's contacts in Congress circles started to grow outside the state, which have now culminated in his arrest by the ED which is probing Congress leader Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra regarding certain properties in the UK.
Thampi is scheduled to be presented in Delhi's Rouse Avenue Court on Tuesday at the end of his Enforcement Directorate remand on January 21.