ED seizes CPI(M)’s assets in Thrissur in the Karuvannur money laundering case

The case revolves around allegations that officials of the CPI(M)-managed bank, in collusion with others, diverted depositors' funds through fraudulent loans.
Karuvannur Bank
Karuvannur Bank
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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on June 29, Friday temporarily seized the Porathissery office land and some bank accounts in Thrissur district, belonging to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)), in connection with the Karuvannur Service Cooperative Bank money laundering case. This marks the first instance in the state where a political party has been implicated in such a case.

The total value of the attached properties is estimated to be around Rs 29 crore. Among these is a 5-cent plot registered in the name of Thrissur CPI(M) district secretary M.M. Varghese. Additionally, deposits in the bank accounts of the party and its district committee have also been seized.

Union Minister V. Muraleedharan remarked on June 29 that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has achieved a new low following the ED's decision to name it as an accused in the case. Muraleedharan further claimed that the ED had discovered nearly 25 bank accounts under the names of the district and area committees of the CPI(M) in Thrissur. Reports indicate that the ED has so far attached properties worth around Rs 85 crore in relation to the case. Most of these assets belong to the  accused in the case, including some local CPI(M) leaders.

The case revolves around allegations that officials of the CPI(M)-managed bank, in collusion with others, diverted depositors' funds through fraudulent loans. Numerous fictitious loans were reportedly sanctioned multiple times. The ED had earlier interrogated M.M. Varghese, former Minister A.C. Moideen, and party leaders P.K. Biju and M.K. Kannan.

Those arrested in the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, include Satheesh Kumar, a moneylender; PP Kiran, a native of Thrissur; PR Aravindakshan, a CPI(M) councillor of the Wadakkanchery municipality; and CK Jils, an accountant of the bank. They are accused of being the beneficiaries of the fraudulently sanctioned loans.

CPI(M) state secretary MV Govindan said that they haven’t received any intimation from the ED about the seizure. He also alleged the union government was using the ED to stifle opposition voices. 

Read: Karuvannur bank scam victims are still waiting for their money, 10 months on

Read: The Rs 100-crore Karuvannur bank fraud that rocked Kerala, explained

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