Kerala police moot special wing as financial crimes increase
Proposal submitted by former state police chief Loknath Behera
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government is likely to act on a recommendation of the police department to set up an exclusive ‘economic offence wing’ to investigate financial crimes. The government is contemplating the new mechanism to curb economic crimes at a time when the state is witnessing a surge in cooperative bank loan scams and chit fund frauds.
The state had recently witnessed several bank loan scams in the recent years, the most notable being the one that surfaced at Karuvannur in Thrissur, where a fraud of more than Rs 100 crore was detected. Besides loan scams, a slew of chit fund frauds had also rocked the state. Pathanamthitta-based Popular Finance had duped depositors of more than Rs 2,000 crore, while Moolamattom-based Crystal Group defrauded more than `5 crore from investors.
According to sources, a proposal for formation of the special wing had been submitted by former State Police Chief Loknath Behera. Earlier, the state police had an economic offence wing under the Crime Branch, which was scrapped in 2018 as part of restructuring.
Headquarters ADGP Manoj Abraham said the proposal envisages formation of the wing under Crime Branch ADGP. IGs and the DIGs would run the operations in the police zones and ranges, respectively.
The proposal was submitted as a lot of financial crimes are being reported in the state. From cheating to loan scams and chit fund frauds, the police are getting numerous complaints. The formation of the wing will help in fighting such cases more effectively,” he said.
The sources, meanwhile, said the government will have to approve new posts if they want to start the special wing and that could be the lone dissuading factor. “As per the proposal, the special wing in each district should have a DySP, three inspectors, and officers of other designations. Finding manpower is a bit difficult and that’s the only hurdle that prevents the government from announcing the formation of the wing,” said a source.
If the proposal is accepted, then the cases pertaining to chit fund fraud, cheating and financial embezzlement would be probed by the special unit.
Crime Branch ADGP may lead division
Police had economic offence wing under Crime Branch. It was scrapped in 2018
ADGP (HQ) Manoj Abraham said the proposal envisages formation of the wing under ADGP (Crime Branch).
IGs and the DIGs would run the operations in the police zones and ranges, respectively.