A couple of months after assuming the CM chair for the second time, the Pinarayi Vijayan government has found itself embroiled in yet another scam. Arriving hot on the heels of the now-infamous Gold smuggling scam, the new 100 crore Cooperative Bank Scam, gives stiff competition to the earlier con-job. Reportedly, allegations of financial fraud had been raised against Karavannur co-operative bank, controlled by the ruling CPI(M), at Irinjalakuda, between the years 2014-2020.
Upon an audit conducted by the authorities, the suspicious came to fruition as the Police has now registered a case against the previous board members and some employees in the organisation. Sections of IPC including 420 (cheating), 471 (using a forged document as genuine) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) were slapped against them.
According to a TOI report, during the inspection, it was found that loans were sanctioned on the property pledged by local customers without their knowledge and the loan amount was credited multiple times to the selected accounts.
A senior police official said as per the complaint, cheating to the tune of nearly Rs 100 crore had been found. “It is considered to be a fraud which had been continuing for the last several years. So, we can find out the exact amount of fraud only after a detailed probe and examination of the loan documents,” the officer was quoted as saying by PTI.
Trying to corner the LDF government, BJP’s state unit has lodged a complaint with Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Income Tax Department. They have also alleged the involvement of top CPM leaders in the scam.
Gold Smuggling case
The gold smuggling case of Kerala came to light in July 2020 and up until now, more than 30 accused have been arrested. Reported extensively by TFI, the scam was being used to finance terror operations across the country. 30 kilograms of gold worth Rs 15 crores seized by the Customs department was found in diplomatic cargo addressed to the UAE -consulate- General Office in Thiruvananthapuram.
Pinarayi Vijayan ahead of the assembly elections was also named by Swapna Suresh, the prime accused in the case. The Customs in its report had stated, “The respondent (Swapna Suresh) had clearly stated about the improper and illegal activities of the CM, three ministers, and the Speaker. She has also further stated about the involvement and kickbacks received by high-profile persons from various deals”
However, a defensive Vijayan fearing the worst, quickly retaliated and directed the Crime Branch of Kerala Police to register a case against ED for forcing Suresh to give statements against the CM.
Troubles continue to mount for Pinarayi Vijayan and his government. While the clamour around the previous case had barely died, a new scam is expected to cause a violent shakedown within the party.