Kerala

New Proposal in Karuvannur Fraud: ED’s Plan to Return Seized Funds to Depositors

Legal Changes Allow Disbursement Amid Investigation; 108 Crores Confiscated

Kochi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) expressed its willingness to hand over the amount confiscated from the accused in the Karuvannur Co-operative Bank fraud case to the investors. ED has stated that it has no objection to handing over the forfeited amount to investors. Specifically, the ED has informed the court that it does not object to the release of the 108 crore rupees worth of properties confiscated from 54 accused individuals to the investors.

Legal Framework and Investor Relief

ED announced its position in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court while considering a petition filed by some of the investors. Moreover, the ED suggested that the court should establish procedures to return the seized amount to investors who can prove their rightful ownership satisfactorily.

The latest amendment to the PMLA Act allows for giving back the amount confiscated from the accused to investors while the case is on trial.. Accordingly, investors can approach the court demanding the release of their investment amounts from the accused and the seized funds.

Previously, the Prime Minister had stated that the authorities would catch the Karuvannur fraudsters soon and refund the investors’ money using the recovered properties. ED’s decision is in line with this commitment.

However, the state government decided to refund the expired fixed deposit account holders, but it has not taken significant action so far. In total, Karuvannur Bank has 23,688 fixed deposit accounts.

Political Implications and Ongoing Investigations

Interestingly, the ED’s move comes during the election period. Meanwhile, the ED also questioned Communist Party of India (Marxist) leaders in the Karuvannur black money transaction case, which involved allegations against CPM state secretariat member PK Biju.

ED has taken steps to clarify the financial transactions made with the arrested accused and the findings of the party’s investigation. For instance, CPM councilor PR Aravindakshan stated that Satish Kumar Biju, the main accused, admitted to receiving 5 lakh rupees during interrogation.

Furthermore, ED is probing 81 accounts, including those of other co-operative banks, in addition to the two Bank of India accounts frozen by the Income Tax Department’s investigation team in Thrissur. Out of the 101 properties identified, six have already been sold.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is a seasoned Political Journalist with a deep passion for Indian Politics. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has established himself as a trusted… More »

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