ED raids CPI(M) MLA Moideen in 100 cr cooperative bank fraud case

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) took action on Tuesday by searching the places of AC Moideen, a former minister and member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI(M), and people connected to him. This is because they are investigating a case of money laundering related to an alleged fraud of ₹100 crore at the Karuvannur Service Co-operative Bank in Kerala.

Officials from the central agency went to around six locations in the state of Kerala starting at 7am. This included Moideen’s home in Wadakkanchery in the Thrissur district. Paramilitary personnel were also present with the ED officials.

AC Moideen is currently a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from the Kunnamkulam constituency in Thrissur. He was a part of the CPI(M) state committee and had responsibilities for local self-government, industries, sports, co-operation, and tourism in the state Cabinet from 2016 to 2021. However, he couldn’t be contacted for a comment.

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The ED is looking into allegations that loans were approved in a dishonest way by the cooperative bank controlled by the CPI(M). These loans were then given as cash to people who were not members of the bank, and there were no proper collaterals. The investigators are trying to find out if Moideen had any knowledge of these fake loans. The ED investigation is happening under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) rules. This investigation was started after the Crime Branch of the Kerala police filed 16 first information reports (FIRs) in various police stations in Thrissur district about this case.

Last year in December, the ED said that it had seized assets worth ₹30.7 crore that belonged to Bijoy AK, a commission agent of the Karuvannur bank. These assets included properties, vehicles, cash taken from his home, and money from his bank accounts. He was given a loan of ₹26.6 crore without needing to give any valuable items as security because of a “systematic conspiracy” made by the bank’s secretary and committee members. The bank was also being looked into by the Registrar of Co-operative Societies in Thiruvananthapuram. After the FIR was filed in July 2021, the Registrar’s audit found that over ₹100 crore had been diverted.

In July 2021, when the fraud was discovered, the CPI(M) took actions against 13 members. Four were expelled, including the bank’s president. Others were suspended and moved to lower positions.

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