CPI(M) trains its guns at ED over Karuvannur bank scam probe

Speaking at a party function in Kasaragod District on Saturday, he said attempts were being made to destroy the cooperative sector in the state.

Published: 24th September 2023 10:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th September 2023 10:59 AM   |  A+A-

Karuvannur bank. (Express)


KASARAGOLD: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan lashed out at the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is currently investigating the Karuvannur bank scam case, alleging that is part of a political agenda set by the BJP.

Speaking at a party function in Kasaragod District on Saturday, he said attempts were being made to destroy the cooperative sector in the state.

"Now they (BJP) are attempting to destroy the cooperative sector in the state. They now have a special focus on Kerala's cooperative sector. Because ten thousand crores of rupees are there in the cooperative banks here," Vijayan said.

CPI(M) state secretary M V Govindan also attacked the BJP and the ED at an event held in Thrissur on Saturday.

The state government had taken proactive steps in the case related to the scam and the central agency was implementing BJP's agenda at Thrissur, he said.

The BJP won't be able to destroy the CPI(M) in the district using ED.

"At Karuvannur, the ED is implementing the BJP's agenda. The people of Thrissur can see through the propaganda," he said.

He alleged that the BJP has decided to field actor-politician Suresh Gopi from Thrissur in the coming Lok Sabha elections. They organised a march from Karuvannur Bank and planned everything with the central agency, he said.

"We do not accept the scam that has taken place at Karuvannur Bank. The government has taken proactive steps in reclaiming the lost money. Those who have done wrong must be punished. But in order to implement the BJP's agenda, the ED is targeting CPI(M) leaders of Thrissur district eying the Lok Sabha polls," Govindan said.

Speaking at another event, Assembly Speaker A N Shamseer said the Karuvannur incident was a black mark on the cooperative sector of the country.

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On September 11, CPI(M) leader and MLA, A C Moideen, was interrogated for over nine hours by the ED in connection with its probe into the Rs 150 crore Karuvannur Cooperative bank scam which triggered a political row in Kerala.

The case relates to the alleged fraud in the CPI(M)-controlled Karuvannur Cooperative Bank. The ED has been questioning some people involved in the case since it conducted raids on their premises last month.

The agency has recorded the MLA's statement under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The ED had earlier issued freeze orders against the bank and fixed deposits worth Rs 28 lakh of Moideen, the former Kerala Minister for Cooperation and Industries and his wife, apart from the seizure of 36 properties valued at Rs 15 crore -- "proceeds of crime" in this case.

The ED had claimed its probe found that "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".

"Many such benami loans were disbursed on the instructions of A C Moideen," it had alleged in a statement issued on August 23, a day after the raids were carried out. Some of those whose premises were raided were identified as Kiran P. P., Rahim C. M., Shiju M. K. and Satheesh Kumar P, according to the ED.

The agency had recently arrested Kumar and Kiran. They claimed that Kumar was the kingpin.

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