The crime branch has stated that the prime accused, Vishnu Prasad, transferred the money in small amounts to different banks accounts in Ernakulam district.

Rs 23 lakh misappropriated from Kerala CMs flood relief fund says Crime branch
news Scam Sunday, March 15, 2020 - 17:22

The crime branch in Kerala has found that an amount of around Rs 23 lakhs has been diverted from the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund, pointing to the fact that the scam could be getting bigger. Initially, the estimated amount that was believed to have been misappropriated was Rs 10.54 lakhs.

On Monday, officials of the crime branch had arrested the prime accused Vishnu Prasad, a clerk of Ernakulam Collectorate. Later, a local CPI(M) leader, Nithin, and his wife, Shintu; an associate of CPI(M) Thrikkakkara (East), Mahesh, and local committee member MM Anwar were also arrested. Nithin and Shintu are the sixth and seventh accused in the case; Mahesh is the second accused and MM Anwar is the third accused. Another CPI(M) leader, Kaulat Anwar, is the fourth accused in the case.

A complex web of money transactions

In the application seeking the police custody of the prime accused Vishnu Prasad in Muvattupuzha Vigilance court, the crime branch has claimed that initially, around Rs 7.5 lakh was transferred by Vishnu to his personal bank accounts as well as to the accounts of Mahesh and fifth-accused Neethu, Mahesh's wife. He transferred the amount from the state treasury bank account, which is maintained by the district collector. He transferred the money in small amounts to different banks accounts in Ernakulam district.

According to the police statement, in the second phase, he transferred Rs 5 lakh to an account in Ayyanad Cooperative bank. Later, the amount was transferred to the account of MM Anwar and Kaulat Anwar, who was also a board member of the bank. It was also pointed out by the police that MM Anwar had transferred money to the accounts of Mahesh and his wife.

The couple Nithin and Shintu also received Rs 2.5 lakhs transferred to their accounts at a Grameen Bank in Kakkanad. Later, another Rs 5.5 lakhs were transferred to the accounts in Ayyanad Cooperative bank, to the third and fourth accused.

The latest transaction to the Ayyanad bank happened on January 29.

Earlier, the misappropriation of Rs 10.5 lakhs was reported from Ayyanad bank were found after some of their staff raised doubts over the fund. It was later that the Crime Branch revealed about the transactions the other banks in the district.

Ernakulam district collector S Suhas had told media that this was a clear case of fraud.

‘Local CPI(M) leaders’ suicide not related to case’

Meanwhile, on Monday earlier this week, another local CPI(M) leader VA Siyad took his own life at his house in Vazhakkala.

Though he was not an accused in the case, in his suicide note, he had mentioned the names of CPI(M) leaders Zakir Hussein, VR Jayachandran and KP Nisar, and that the leaders were threatening him. However, the police have stated that Siyad's death is not related to the case.

 

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