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Kerala: ED attaches CPI(M) deposits in Karuvannur case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets belonging to the CPM, including a land parcel and bank deposits totaling Rs 73 lakh, as part of a money laundering probe linked to the Karuvannur Service Cooperative Bank scam in Kerala.

Kerala: ED attaches CPIM deposits Rs 73 lakh in Karuvannur case anr
First Published Jun 30, 2024, 8:56 AM IST

Kochi: As part of an ongoing money laundering investigation related to the Karuvannur Service Cooperative Bank "scam," the Enforcement Directorate has attached a land parcel in Kerala and bank deposits amounting to Rs 73 lakh, allegedly belonging to the CPM, official sources reported on Saturday. According to sources, a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has been issued to attach these assets. The attached properties include a land parcel valued at Rs 10 lakh in Kerala's Thrissur district and Rs 63 lakh in deposits held in five "undisclosed" bank accounts of the political party.

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The CPM rejected the ED's charges, stating it would legally and politically challenge any attempt by the agency to implicate it in the alleged multi-crore Karuvannur bank scam.

Party state secretary M. V. Govindan accused the ED of targeting opposition parties and their leaders for political reasons. He also claimed that the central agency attempted to create a smokescreen because it had failed to gather evidence against the party.

The ED believes that the attached land parcel, intended for the CPM party office, was purchased using alleged kickbacks from the loanees or beneficiaries of loans sanctioned by the Karuvannur Service Cooperative Bank.

The agency has based its case on the "confessional" statements of at least two accused individuals, who claimed in their testimonies before a judicial magistrate that the alleged irregularities in the bank were orchestrated at the behest of CPM Thrissur district committee leaders.

The money laundering case originates from 16 FIRs filed by the Kerala Police (Crime Branch) in Thrissur.

The alleged fraud, dating back to 2010, involving the CPIM-controlled bank in Thrissur, has sparked a political controversy in the state, with the party asserting its innocence and denying any wrongdoing.

The ED had said, "On the instructions of certain persons, who were district-level leaders and committee members of a certain political party and governed the bank, loans were disbursed by the bank manager through the agent in cash to non-member benamis by mortgaging properties of poor members without their knowledge and laundered to the benefit of the accused".

The agency alleges that bogus loans were sanctioned by the bank multiple times against the same property without the knowledge of the Society's members.

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