In connection with the Rs 300 crore Karuvannur bank fraud, Enforcement Directorate (ED) made two arrests on Monday. P. Satheeshkumar and P.P. Kiran were apprehended under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Satheeshkumar, is known to have close ties with CPI(M) leader and former minister A.C. Moideen, and there are allegations of his involvement as a benami to various influential figures. The other arrested individual, agent Kiran, is accused of siphoning off Rs 22 crore from the bank through benami channels.
ED had been conducting extensive interrogations of both suspects over the past several days. Notably, the agency had also issued a notice to Moideen for questioning, but he failed to appear for the interrogation, marking the second time the CPI(M) leader has disregarded the notice.
On August 22, ED carried out searches at the residences of Moideen, Kiran, and Kumar. ED is pursuing the investigation with the assumption that former minister played a pivotal role in facilitating the disbursement of illicit loans from the bank.
The arrests are expected to place the CPI(M) in a more defensive position, given Kumar's close affiliations with numerous local party leaders. Furthermore, there are allegations that the illegal transactions orchestrated by Kiran for the fraud were purportedly conducted with the approval of the bank's board of directors, who were all CPI(M) activists. ED is actively probing this association.
Additionally, there are claims that Kumar held multiple accounts in various banks under the control of the CPI(M), which were allegedly used to facilitate various illicit loan disbursements. In the days ahead, ED will delve deeper into the extent of the connections between those arrested and CPI(M) leaders, including Moideen.
Currently, the CPI(M) is actively protecting Moideen. The party recently convened a public protest gathering in Thrissur to express their unwavering support for their leader. Additionally, the party's official publication featured an extensive article on Sunday, highlighting the leader's contributions. The party is upholding its stance by repeatedly emphasizing the narrative that the Union government is employing central agencies to undermine the reputation of opposition leaders.