Thrissur: After the Karuvannur bank scam episode, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has received complaints of a similar loan fraud in the Ayyanthole Service Co-operative Bank here.
The CPM-ruled bank has been under the scanner of the economic intelligence agency for alleged money laundering.
In a complaint to the ED, an elderly couple claimed the bank sanctioned loans worth Rs 93 lakh even though they had sought Rs 40-lakh loan. The duo said they have fallen into a debt trap as they have to repay Rs 1.75 crore, a figure arrived after adding the interest on the loan for five years.
Kuttikrishnan (75) and his wife K S Sharada (70), residents of Chittilapilly, Amalanagar, said that though they complained to the West Police nine months ago against middleman Abubecker and the Ayyanthole Bank Secretary, they have not been arrested.
On March 28, 2017, Kuttikrishnan, a retired tahsildar, and Sharada, who retired as a teacher from the Thrissur Model Boys School, became the victims of the alleged loan fraud. They said it was Abubecker who approached them first, introducing himself as a builder. He reportedly promised to construct and hand over a villa in 10 cents out of their 28-cent land, saying they only needed to give him a share of the profit.
When they told him that they had already taken a Rs 10 lakh loan from the Amalanagar Co-operative Bank to purchase the land, Abubecker assured them that he would repay the same.
He then borrowed money from a native of Velappaya, Tirur, and helped the elderly couple get back the title deed by repaying the loan. He then took the couple to the Ayyanthole Co-operative Bank to pledge the title deed to secure money to construct the villa, the complaint mentioned.
The couple was made to sign several papers, and the loan was sanctioned. A loan of Rs 40 lakh was passed and Abubecker promised to give them Rs 25 lakh as an advance.
Kuttikrishnan and Sharada signed the papers and received the money from the bank authorities. Abubecker then gave them Rs 5 lakh and promised to pay the rest online. But they received nothing after that, the couple said in their complaint.
When Abubecker failed to start the construction of the villa, the elderly couple approached him several times, but he sought more time. He also made them believe that he was repaying the bank loan.
Meanwhile, the bank issued several notices to some other addresses after the loan went unpaid for long.
The couple finally learned about it after they received a call from the post office for address clarification. They realised that they were not receiving letters from the bank because the wrong postal address was given to the bank. Following this, they complained to the police on January 11, the duo told ED.
Meanwhile, former Congress MLA Anil Akkara alleged that the Ayyanthole Co-operative Bank authorities swindled over Rs 100 crore by lending larger sums without the knowledge of those seeking loans.
The loan to Kuttikrishnan and Sharada was sanctioned using an address in Pulluvazhy. This is even as all their documents carry the correct address, the Congress leader said.
Fraudsters sanctioned hundreds of loans in an apartment's address in Ayyanthole. However, a title deed outside the jurisdiction of the bank was used as collateral. The Ayyanthole bank fraud is a bigger scam than the Karuvannur one, Akkara claimed.
Last week, the ED raided the Ayyanthole Bank as part of its probe into money laundering in connection with the Karuvannur Bank fraud case.