ED takes action in money laundering case, seizes 73 lakhs lying in CPI(M) land bank

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The ED said it believes that the attached land parcel was meant for the CPI(M) party office and was purchased using alleged kickbacks from lenders or beneficiaries of loans sanctioned by the Karuvannur Service Cooperative Bank.

In a move that has added to the troubles for the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Kerala, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has raided land parcels and bank deposits worth Rs 73 lakh belonging to the party as part of an ongoing money laundering probe into the Karuvannur Service Cooperative Bank ‘scam’, according to official sources. A provisional order has been issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to seize land worth Rs 10 lakh in Kerala’s Thrissur district and bank deposits of Rs 63 lakh held in five “undeclared” bank accounts of the party, they said.

The ED said it believed the attached land parcel was meant for the CPI(M) party office and was purchased using alleged bribes from lenders or beneficiaries of loans sanctioned by the Karuvannur Service Cooperative Bank. It relied on the “confessional statements” of the last two accused in the case, who claimed that the alleged irregularities in the bank were committed at the behest of CPI(M) Thrissur district committee leaders. The party vowed to legally and politically fight any move by the central agency to implicate it in the case linked to the alleged multi-crore Karuvannur sanctions scam. CPI(M) state secretary MV Govindan alleged that the ED was trying to make opposition parties and their leaders accused in various cases for political reasons.

Govindan further said that the ED was trying to create a sham as it had failed to collect any evidence against the party. He asserted that it was a decades-old practice to register office and other properties of party units in the name of respective district committees. Accusing the ED of maligning the party’s image, he asked, “What role does the party have in an office built by one of its local committees.

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