Man with Rs 28 lakh in scam-hit Karuvannur bank now penniless

Karuvannur Cooperative Bank
Congress activists protesting in front of Karuvannur Cooperative Bank. FILE PHOTO: Manorama

Irinjalakuda: Jacob Paramel, who has Rs 28 lakh in his account in the scam-hit Karuvannur Co-operative Bank, neither has money to treat his wife, who is a cancer patient, nor the funds to invest in his textile business during the Onam season.

The Thelappilly native had deposited Rs 38 lakh in the bank, which included the money he earned from trading timber and savings from various chit-fund schemes.

Following his cardiac ailment, he had to stop his timber business. So far, Jacob has been able to withdraw Rs 13 lakh in instalments. But Rs 28 lakh (principal plus interest) is still in the bank, he said.

Jacob has two daughters who are married. His wife Maxy is undergoing treatment for cancer.

Jacob is struggling to meet both ends as the bank is not returning his deposit of Rs 28 lakh. Photo: Manorama

He had approached the bank a year ago to withdraw Rs 25 lakh to fund his grandson's higher studies abroad. The bank demanded several documents. Though he produced all, he said he did not receive his money.

Finally, Jacob's grandson pledged the title deed of a property in another bank to pay his fees.

Jacob said he started selling garments in a vehicle to make ends meet after his heart ailment prevented him from taking up physically demanding jobs. But, he does not have enough funds to buy materials even though he has a healthy bank balance. 

He said he bought a minimum amount of stock by pledging his wife's gold bangles, which were the last valuable items she had. He is now struggling to find money for his wife’s treatment and meet other expenses.

Jacob is not alone. Sarada Viswambharan. the secretary of Maranananthara Sahaya Samiti (panel to assist bereaved families) that functions under the SNDP Union branch 2217, said the beneficiaries have not received any money from the bank till now. The families under the branch have collectively deposited Rs 4 lakh in 2005, she said.

“We collected Rs 400 each from 320 families each year to set up a corpus. Under the scheme, Rs 10,000 is given to a bereaved family under the branch. We did approach the bank to withdraw the deposit after the fraud came to light. We have neither received the principal nor the interest for the deposit,” Sarada said.

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