Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Minister for Cooperation and Registration V N Vasavan on Sunday said there was no need for a probe by any central agency into the multi-crore loan scam reported in a ruling CPM-controlled cooperative bank in Thrissur as competent officers of his department and the police were investigating the matter.
The minister, while speaking to media persons, said a probe by a central agency is only required if the officers here are unable to carry out the investigation properly which was not the case.
He also said that the opposition would always make such demands for a probe by CBI or any other agency, and that cannot be reason to hand over the inquiry.
The police team probing the scam had taken four main accused in the case into custody. Karuvannur Service Cooperative Bank's former secretary Sunil Kumar, former manager Biju Kareem, accountant C K Jils and commission agent Bejoy were picked up from a flat at Ayyanthole in Thrissur district on Sunday.
The accused were brought out of the flat in PPE kits. They were being questioned.
The Crime Branch team investigating the case had raided the houses of six accused earlier in the day. The raids were conducted at Irinjalakuda, Porathissery and Korumbissery.
However, a senior Crime Branch officer denied making any arrests.
After several people including local customers raised apprehensions about the bank's functioning, an audit had been conducted there recently, in which the charges were reportedly found to be true.
During the inspection, it was also 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.
The case was registered against the bank officials, including the secretary of the bank, who were already placed under suspension over the allegations.
Kerala BJP president K Surendran had recently alleged that the scam was one of the biggest bank frauds ever reported in the state and the government was conducting a Crime Branch investigation out of fear that the central agencies would take up the matter.
He had claimed that the ruling party had crores of black money investments in the co-operative banks and that they had misused these institutions to utilise that illegal fund during the April 6 assembly polls.
He had also urged the Election Commission to carry out a probe into the allegations raised by the investors of Karavannur co-operative bank that their money had been used for the recent polls.
The loan scam worth crores of rupees in the CPM-controlled Karuvannur cooperative bank in Iranjalakuda is a gross failure of the district leadership, the CPM state secretariat has concluded.
Corrective measures will be taken to rectify such lapses at the party and government levels, the party secretariat decided.
The party has instructed the cooperative department to exercise caution and ensure that similar scams do not take place in the future.
The ED had registered a case in connection with the fraud and gathered preliminary information about the scam from the police.
The police report has confirmed that a fraud of the magnitude of more than Rs 300 crore had taken place.
There are reports that the persons who figure in the crime branch list of accused have a close connection with CPM leaders.
The main accused and bank's former secretary TR Sunil Kumar and former manager M K Biju are ex-office bearers of the CPM local committee and current party members.
(With inputs from PTI)