The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday carried out raids at locations linked to the accused in the Rs 300 crore Karuvannur Cooperative bank scam, which triggered a political row in Kerala recently.
Sources in the ED told PTI that searches were conducted simultaneously at the residences of all the five accused in Kerala’s Thrissur district.
“The officials from the ED unit in Kochi conducted the searches and other details cannot be divulged right now,” they said.
The action comes at a time when the agitated depositors are on a warpath against the management of the ruling CPI(M)-controlled Karuvannur Cooperative bank, located at Irinjalakuda, demanding return of their investment.
The Opposition Congress had recently urged Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to hand over the investigation into the Cooperative bank scam to CBI, alleging that there was not much progress in the ongoing probe by the state agencies.
After a brief interval, the bank again sparked a controversy last month over the death of a woman depositor, whose family had alleged that she was denied money for advanced treatment by the management despite having lakhs of rupees as deposit in the bank.
They also staged a protest sit-in in front of the bank with the woman’s body, following which opposition parties came out against the ruling CPI(M) which controls the bank.
The loan scam was reported in the bank, located in Thrissur district, in July 2021, following which a case was registered against six bank officials and an inquiry launched.
After several people including local customers raised apprehensions about the bank’s functioning, an audit was conducted there recently, in which the charges were reportedly found to be true.
During the inspection, it was also found that loans were sanctioned on the property pledged by local customers without their knowledge and the loan amount was credited multiple times to the select account.
Following allegations, the 13-member committee of the Marxist party-ruled bank was disbanded.
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