The BJP in Kerala on Tuesday came down heavily on the ruling CPI(M) over the Karuvannur cooperative bank scam and alleged the ruling party had turned cooperative institutions in the state into a tool for money laundering for decades.
Crores of rupees have been swindled by giving loans in the name of non-existent people and top Marxist Party leaders and even ministers were involved in it, BJP state president K Surendran charged.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan recently assured government's guarantee to the cooperative banks out of fear that people would withdraw money from them, he further said, while addressing a press conference here.
The government's policy of shouldering the responsibility of bankrupt banks after the ruling party members swindled money cannot be accepted, he said.
"The CPI(M) has turned the cooperative institutions into a tool to launder black money for decades," Surendran said.
Alleging that the Left party and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan would be responsible for the downfall of cooperative movement in the state, he said the Congress-led UDF also could not keep themselves away from its responsibility.
Accusing the state Crime Branch of showing negligence in the investigation of cooperative bank scam, the BJP chief said that the Enforcement Directorate or other central agencies should conduct a probe into all financial transactions of cooperative institutions in the state.
Surendran also rejected the CPI(M) charge that the central agencies were targetting the cooperative sector with a deliberate agenda.
On September 11, CPI(M) leader Moideen, was interrogated for over nine hours by the ED in connection with its probe into the Rs 150 crore Karuvannur Cooperative bank scam which triggered a political row in Kerala recently.
The case relates to the alleged fraud in the CPI(M)-controlled Karuvannur Cooperative Bank.
The ED has been questioning some people involved in the case since it conducted raids at their premises last month.
The agency has recorded the MLA's statement under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED had earlier issued freeze orders against bank and fixed deposits worth Rs 28 lakh of Moideen, the former Kerala Minister for Cooperation and Industries and his wife, apart from the seizure of 36 properties valued at Rs 15 crore -- "proceeds of crime" in this case.
After the Kerala Police registered the FIR in July 2021, the registrar in their audit found "diversions" of more than Rs 100 crore, the ED had said last year.
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