Kochi, Kerala. ED is reported to have stated that the investigation pertaining to the money laundering in the CPM-ruled Karuvannur Cooperative Bank is likely to be extended to top level political leaders. Here ‘political leaders’ means CPM leaders. This is in the light of the arrest of P.R. Aravindakshan, a top CPM leader in Thrissur district and a blue-eyed boy of A.C. Moideen, senior CPM leader, former CPM Thrissur district secretary and former minister for Cooperative department. A.C. Moideen’s house was raided by ED couple of weeks before and his bank accounts were frozen by the ED on August 23, 2023, thanks to his alleged close links with the bank. ED had also interrogated him for long hours in this regard.
Aravindakshan has been arrested in view of his alleged involvement in the money laundering in Karuvannur Cooperative Bank. He was arrested from his house in Wadakkancherry, Thrissur district, on September 26 afternoon. Another man ED arrested in this connection is C.K. Jilse, the former accountant of Karumannur Service Cooperative Bank. Both have been taken to Kochi for further investigation and interrogation.
ED has reportedly submitted before the court that Aravindakshan enjoys connections with several senior political leaders (again, read CPM leaders); some of them are involved in the fraud. The remand report is said to be stating that a detailed investigation would be carried out to ascertain who are the leaders involved in the fraud.
Reports suggest, ED has found that Aravindakshan has executed a Fixed Deposit (FD) of Rs 50 lakhs in two accounts at Karuvannur Cooperative Bank and could not submit a satisfactory explanation regarding the source of that amount. Consequently, ED informed the court that the money found as FD is linked with the money laundering.
ED is also reported to have found that Aravindakshan had close rapport with Satheeshkumar, the prime accused in the case. According to ED, Satheeshkumar facilitated the funds for Aravindakshan; he (Satheesh) is reported to have got it through a benami (proxy) loan from Karuvannur Cooperative Bank. There is another report which says that a substantial amount was transferred to Aravindakshan through the bank accounts of Satheesh and his brother Sreejith. Former Bank Manager Biju Karim is reported to have given a statement that out of the Rs 24cr he ‘managed’ Rs 25 lakhs was given to Aravindakshan.
The remand report is said to be stating that between 2015 and 2017, transactions of crores of rupees were carried out through the account. Reports suggest that ED has unearthed the link between Aravindakshan and Satheeshkumar when it (ED) raided the latter’s house and checked his mobile phones.
To add insult to the injury to the cooperative banking sector in Kerala, fraud is reported from CPM-ruled Thiruvilla Kuttorr Cooperative Bank, Pathanamthitta district. Now, the Cooperative Department Audit which came out, speaks out the illegal appointments. It also speaks about approving loans beyond the bank’s transaction limit and improprieties in the construction of multi-storey building. Reports state that Rs 20 lakhs loan was allotted to a CPM leader’s wife using fake address. Also, there are reports of loans to five people under a single title deed. But the Bank Board states that it is not right. Audit report has been leaked, most likely, due to the infightings in the CPM.
- Satisan, Kerala