Kerala bank scam: ED alleges non-cooperation from police, Crime Branch

| Updated: 10 October, 2023 4:19 pm IST

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has informed the Kerala High Court that the Kerala Police and Crime Branch are not cooperating with the investigation into the Karuvannur Cooperative Bank and similar other scams in the state.

The ED also alleged that the police are not handing over the necessary details in the case.

The agency made the statements while seeking the custody of two accused – CPI (M) leader PR Aravindakshan and Gills, a former employee of the Karuvannur bank – for further interrogation. The ED stated that the Crime Branch and the police are not providing the precise details that are being sought and are hence trying to block the investigation.

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Earlier, the ED was met with stiff opposition from local and state CPI(M) leaders, who alleged that the central agency is trying to mentally and physically torture the bank directors who were called for questioning at their office in Ernakulam.

A few days ago, BJP leader and actor Suresh Gopi led a massive rally with nearly one lakh people, mostly locals and party workers, demanding the intervention of the state government in the matter and ensuring the repayment of the deposits made by the thousands of customers.

Gopi, in his high-voltage speech following the Padayatra, made a scathing attack on the CPI(M) leadership and added that he is ready to contest from Kannur in the upcoming parliamentary polls in 2024.

However, CPI(M) leaders downplayed the comments made by Gopi and said that the actor is controlling the ED.

“It looks like an actor wanted to contest from the Kannur Loksabha seat. We are told that he is the one who is controlling the ED. We know what happened when he had earlier contested from Thrissur. We had always welcomed those who wanted to contest from here,” said CPI(M) leader P Jayarajan.

The court, however, granted two more days of custody for the ED for the interrogation of the two accused – PR Aravindakshan and Gills.

In order to ease the financial burden of the customers who have deposited money in the Karuvannur bank, the state government has decided to expedite steps to return the money.

As per the reports from the cooperative banks, around 20,000 depositors will receive their money. The government has initiated action to collect Rs 12 crore as the first phase of funding for the Karuvannur bank in order to repay the depositors.

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