KOCHI: While the number of immovable properties being attached by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) continues to spike in other states, Kerala can boast of being the state with the minimum number of property attachments for money laundering offences.As per the ED details, only nine immovable properties have been confirmed attached in Kerala in the last seven years while there were 57 and 49 in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, respectively.
A senior ED officer told Express properties in Kerala were attached under Section 5 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) and the attachment has been confirmed by the Adjudicating Authority under sub-section 4 of Section 8 of PMLA. “The properties belonged to the accused booked for criminal offences, including cheating, economic fraud involving banks and violation of various financial Acts,” he said, adding the number of property attachments was less in Kerala because registration of criminal offences under PMLA was not taking place here.
“Criminal cases will be high in Kerala but cases in which PMLA is invoked are not that high here,” said the officer, while disclosing ED was in the process of attaching a couple of more immovable properties in the state over the next coupe of two months.
In Kerala, the attached properties include 75.16 acres in Kottayam, 132.43 sq m apartment in Poonithura here and a 2,100 sq ft house at Aluva. All the attached immovable properties were suspected to be proceeds from money laundering. The other states with the least number of immovable property attachments were Assam (2), Himachal Pradesh (1), Manipur (2), Rajasthan (7) and Uttarakhand (4 ). Andhra Pradesh had the highest number of 413 attachments followed by Maharashtra (152).