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CPI(M) has links to 80 'undisclosed' bank accounts, 100 offices in Thrissur: ED informs EC

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New Delhi, Apr 10 (PTI) The Enforcement Directorate has written to the Election Commission claiming that a money laundering investigation has found that the ruling CPI(M) in Kerala has about 80 "undisclosed" bank accounts and about 100 unreported immovable assets in the Thrissur district of the state, official sources said Wednesday.

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The federal probe agency said it came across these assets while investigating affairs of the Thrissur-based Karuvannur Service cooperative bank in which it had questioned Kerala CPI(M) MLA and former cabinet minister A C Moideen.

Official sources told PTI that the agency has informed the Election Commission (EC) that the party has links with about 80 "undisclosed" bank accounts that have about Rs 25 crore worth of deposits. The deposits found in these bank accounts were majorly remitted in cash, the ED has claimed.

It has also informed the poll panel that the party has about 100 "undisclosed" immovable assets in the form of office buildings in the Thrissur district.

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These bank funds and offices are being used by the CPI(M) for undertaking political activities, the agency has alleged in its report to the EC.

The agency suspects that these movable and immovable assets have not been reported by the party to the EC and the Income-tax department, as per the provisions of The Representation of the People Act.

Sources said the EC has directed the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the administrative authority for the I-T department, to conduct an inquiry into these charges communicated to it by the ED.

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The ED, as per official sources, suspects that the party holds such assets in some other districts of the state too and it has widened its investigation in this context.

A charge sheet was filed by the ED last year in November last year against a total of 55 accused entities as part of the money laundering probe linked to the Karuvannur Service cooperative bank.

The agency had also informed the court in the prosecution complaint (charge sheet filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act), that it has attached more than 120 assets worth about Rs 100 crore in this case till now.

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The agency had not named Moideen in this charge sheet.

The money laundering case stems from 16 FIRs registered by the Kerala Police (crime branch) in Thrissur.

This case of alleged fraud, beginning in 2010, in the Thrissur-based CPI(M)-controlled bank had triggered a political row in the state with the Left party saying that it has done no wrong.

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The ED has said its probe in the case found that "on the instructions of certain persons, who were district-level leaders and committee members of a certain political party and governed the bank, loans were disbursed by the bank manager through the agent in cash to non-member benamis by mortgaging properties of poor members without their knowledge and laundered to the benefit of the accused".

Bogus loans were sanctioned by the bank on the same property multiple times without the knowledge of members of Society, it alleged.

Investigation has also revealed that benami loans were sanctioned to non-members against inflated property valuations in the names of other members and such loan funds were siphoned off and laundered by the accused beneficiaries the agency had said in a statement earlier.

Four people have been arrested by the ED in this case till now. PTI NES RT RT RT RT

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