The Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court here on Wednesday granted the Enforcement Directorate one-day custody of P.R. Aravindakshan, Communist Party of India (Marxist) councillor of Wadakkanchery municipality, who was arrested on Tuesday in connection with the Karuvannur Service Cooperative Bank fraud case.
The court also gave the ED one-day custody of C.K. Jilse, an accountant of the bank, who was also arrested on Tuesday. The custody is till 4 p.m. on Thursday.
Mr. Aravindakshan claimed before the court that there was no need for his custody as he had already submitted all documents as sought by the ED and that only a few documents remained. He said there was no need for custodial interrogation since he had cooperated with the agency all along. He repeated in the court that he was physically assaulted by ED officials on which he had lodged a police petition.
The special court judge clarified there was no restriction on media in the court after mediapersons were initially stopped from entering the courtroom.
The agency informed the court on Tuesday that Mr. Aravindakshan generated proceeds of crime to the tune of ₹50 lakh by layering the money siphoned off by P. Satheesh Kumar, a private financier accused in the case.
Mr. Aravindakshan is the fourth person to be booked by the ED in connection with the scam, which may run into ₹350 crore.
The ED had also interrogated A.C. Moideen and M.K. Kannan, two senior CPI(M) leaders, in connection with the case. Mr. Aravindakshan had layered (a process of making tracking money difficult in a financial crime) the proceeds of crime from Mr. Satheesh Kumar.
Several witnesses in the case had submitted statements regarding the involvement of Mr. Aravindakshan in the layering of the proceeds of the crime. A huge amount was found transferred from the bank account of Mr. Satheesh Kumar and his brother P. Sreejith to the bank account of Mr. Aravindakshan, the agency submitted before the court.
A bank official stated that ₹25 lakh from a loan availed of by Kiran, a middleman, in his name and the name of several others was deposited as a fixed deposit in the name of Mr. Aravindakshan. Mr. Jilse had generated proceeds of crime to the tune of more than ₹5.06 crore, according to the agency.