Kerala

Cong., BJP seek CBI probe into coop bank scam

The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have, separately, demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the alleged ₹350-crore loan scam centred on the CPI(M)-controlled Karuvannur Cooperative Society Bank in Thrissur.

Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan said the ongoing police inquiry lacked credibility and was a cover-up. The government had allowed the fraud to continue despite cautionary reports from various agencies since 2018.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) State and district leadership had condoned the fraud. The party leadership appeared not to care that the scam victims were manual labourers, autorickshaw drivers, headload workers, and daily wage earners on CPI(M) membership rolls.

Many had received notices to repay loans they had never availed themselves of from the cooperative bank. The victims feared the bank would forfeit their property, he said.

The police inquiry into the crime had revealed that the accused had used forged title deeds as security for loans taken in the name of deceased or non-existent persons. They also used title deeds put up by loan-seekers as collateral to siphon off large sums of money.

The police have arraigned bank manager Biju Karim, secretary T.R. Sunil Kumar, chief accountant C.K. Jills as accused in the case.

BJP State president K. Surendran said the perpetrators of the crime were related to A.C. Modieen, Minister for Cooperation in the previous LDF government, and had his protection. Mr. Moideen has denied the accusation.

Mr. Surendran alleged that the CPI(M) had used a portion of the funds stolen from the bank to underwrite the election expenses of “CPI(M) State secretary’s wife, who is now a Minister in the LDF government”.

Mr. Surendran said similar copycat financial crimes had occurred in at least 106 cooperative banks controlled by the CPI(M).

Meanwhile, a magistrate court in Thrissur has ordered a police inquiry into similar allegations against a cooperative bank at Irinjalakuda controlled by the CPI(M).

Cooperation Minister V.N. Vasavan said the fraud at Kuravanoor bank was ₹69 crore and not ₹350 crore as alleged. The Cooperation Department had set up a special team to probe the scam.


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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 4:54:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/cong-bjp-seek-cbi-probe-into-coop-bank-scam/article35510367.ece

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