KOCHI: The governing body of the Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has decided to initiate legal action against former office-bearers who “incurred severe loss to the organisation”. According to KCCI chairman Biju Ramesh, the corrupt practices of the former governing body members have put the organisation in a major crisis. “We are collecting documents regarding the corruption in the construction of Kerala Trade Centre (KTC), a multi-storey building at Menaka in Kochi.
As many as 22 police cases have been registered against the former governing body members. The unaccounted money was accepted for selling apartments in KTC. The construction of the KTC commenced in 2003 and ended in 2013. Inflated prices of the construction materials have been entered in the account book. The former office-bearers also went on foreign tours using KCCI money,” Biju Ramesh told reporters here on Thursday.
Recently, the former office-bearers had come out with a statement raising corruption charges against the current governing body. “This governing body came to power only last year. By this time, the construction work and sale of apartments in KTC were completed. They are raising false allegations against us since we have launched an internal investigation and also lodged complaints with the police about the corruption by the former governing body,” he said.
K N Marzook, former chairman and director of KCCI, was arrested by the police last month on charges of fraud, based on a case filed by an investor from Thiruvananthapuram. Investors were told they would be given flats and commercial space in the KTC. He has been suspended from the director post. Former Additional Secretary Sreenivasan is also an accused in the case. He is currently absconding.
We have lodged another complaint against Sreenivasan as he took furniture from KCCI office a few months ago, he said.KTC has currently taken over the bank. Discussions are on to retake the property. “We are looking to restore the pride of KCCI which lost reputation due to corrupt practices of the people who were leading it previously. The investors who bought apartments in KTC should not be concerned as the matter will be resolved soon,” Biju Ramesh said. The other office-bearers of the organisation also attended the press conference.