ED summons ex-Kerala minister Moideen in cooperative bank scam

Benami loans were disbursed by the bank at the MLA’s behest, ED says

THRISSUR | Updated: 25 August, 2023 2:04 pm IST
A. C. Moideen is a member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly

THRISSUR: Two days after carrying out raids, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday issued summons to former Kerala minister and CPI (M) leader A.C Moideen for questioning in the ₹150 crore Karuvannoor cooperative bank scam.

The legislator has been asked to join the investigation on August 31. The agency is investigating money laundering and found out that Moideen played a key role in disbursement of loans to benami entities by the Karuvannoor Service Co-operative Bank.

The investigation has also revealed that district-level CPI (M) leaders were involved in the scam.

READ MORE: ED finds CPM MLA’s key role in ₹150-Cr cooperative bank scam

On its part, the ruling CPI (M) has said that the ED’s actions are part of a strategy by the BJP-led government to stifle opposition parties in anticipation of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

During the searches carried out in Thrissur and Ernakulam, including at Moideen’s residence, the agency seized 36 properties estimated at ₹15 crores, which have been identified as proceeds of the alleged crime. This also includes fixed deposits amounting to ₹28 lakhs in the names of Moideen and his wife.

In a press release, the ED mentioned that the investigation stemmed from FIRs filed by the Kerala Police, which highlighted the alleged misappropriation of public funds by the accused, including the sanctioning of multiple loans to the same individual beyond the bank loan limit, using the same property as collateral.

READ MORE: Kerala: Chennithala unhappy after being denied CWC membership

The ED’s investigation indicates that loans were disbursed by the bank manager, acting on instructions from district-level leaders and committee members of the ruling party.

These loans were extended in cash to non-member benamis by mortgaging properties belonging to financially vulnerable members, without their awareness. Subsequently, the funds were allegedly laundered for the benefit of the accused.

MV Suresh, the petitioner in the case and chairman of the People’s Resistance Forum, has alleged that a political conspiracy was at play in reducing the liability of the primary accused to ₹125 crores.

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