New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate Monday said it has attached assets worth more than Rs 4 crore of former Kerala Congress general secretary K K Abraham and a person linked to him in a loan fraud case in a cooperative bank based in the state.
The loan ‘fraud’ case pertains to the Pulpally Service Cooperative Bank located at Pulpally in Wayanad district.
The agency said in a statement that properties worth a total Rs 4.34 crore have been provisionally attached under the PMLA and they belong to Abraham and Sanjeevan Kollapallil, a private person allegedly linked to him and an accused in the case.
Both have been arrested by the ED and they are in judicial custody at present.
The criminal case filed by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) stems from an FIR of the Kerala Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) against the governing body members and officials of the bank.
The central agency has alleged Abraham was the ‘overall in-charge of the bank as president who played a key role in sanctioning various loans by overvaluing the properties to the applicants’.
The ED probe found, the agency said in a statement, that bank officials and its governing body members sanctioned ‘enhanced’ loans without the consent and knowledge of the loan applicants by ‘over-valuing’ the properties offered as collateral and the over and above amount of the loans were given to Kollapallil.
The loans were not re-paid by the applicants and thus it caused a total loss of Rs 5.62 crore to the Pulpally Service Cooperative Bank, the agency said.
The proceeds of crime, the ED said, in the form of over-valued loans were deposited in the bank account of Kollappallil, maintained with the cooperative bank and subsequently withdrawn ‘in cash and siphoned off’.
‘Kollapallil utilised the said proceeds of crime for ginger farming in Karnataka where K K Abraham agreed for profit sharing of 10 per cent without any investment,’ the ED claimed.
Unexplained cash deposits in the bank account of Abraham and transfer of funds from the account of Kollappallil into Abraham’s bank account have been found, it alleged.
Abraham ‘knowingly assisted’ Kollappallil in acquiring and using the proceeds of crime and thereby committed the offence of money laundering under the PMLA, the ED said.
Prior to the ED action, Abraham had been arrested by the vigilance wing of the Kerala Police following a cheating complaint filed by an elderly couple.
(Published 13 November 2023, 17:44 IST)