KERALA

CB arrests UNA leaders for ‘fund embezzlement’

The Crime Branch of the Kerala Police on Wednesday arrested four office-bearers of the United Nurses Association (UNA) on the charge of having embezzled funds, an estimated Rs. 3 crore, from the organisation’s coffers.

Director General of Police Tomin J. Thachankery said the agency had secured their custody from Thrissur. The Crime Branch would seek their custody for questioning. It identified the arrested persons as Jasmin Shaw, president of the UNA; Shobi Joseph, State president; and Nithin Mohan and Jithu P.D., both UNA staff.

Fissures within

The Crime Branch declared the accused as fugitives from the law in 2019 and promulgated lookout notices for them. The agency has now booked them for criminal breach of trust, forgery, cheating, conspiracy, and theft. Fissures in the organisation led to the case. The Crime Branch initiated a probe based on a complaint filed by Sibi Mukesh, vice president of the UNA.

He alleged that the accused had diverted UNA funds for personal use. In the process, they denied financial assistance to nurses who lost their jobs while agitating for reasonable wages.

The Crime Branch was also investigating Shaw’s wife, Shabna, in connection with the fraud. They said her accountant was used to secrete the funds allegedly embezzled from the coffers of the UNA.

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