Pulpally loan fraud: ED attaches assets worth Rs 4.34 cr of bank’s ex-president, directors

Pulppalli Co-operative Bank. Photo: Manorama

Wayanad: The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) has provisionally attached assets worth Rs 4.34 crore in the Pulpally Service Cooperative Bank (PSCB) ‘fake loan scam’ under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002. ’

An ED release issued on Monday said the attached assets included the immovable properties of Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) former general secretary K K Abraham, who was earlier the bank’s president; the then bank secretary K T Remadevi; Sajeevan Kollappallil, an alleged middleman; and other board members.

The other accused in the case are PSCB loan division head P U Thomas; bank directors T S Kurian, Mani Pambanal, Bindu Chandran, C V Velayudhan, and V M Poulose.

The fraud came to light when a farmer in Pulpally, Rajendran Nair (60), committed suicide on May 30 after the bank authorities ‘repeatedly neglected’ his complaints regarding the fraud. Reports said Rajendran Nair had taken a loan of Rs 80,000. As per bank records, he had taken Rs 25 lakh. In another case, a farmer, K P Daniel, had taken a loan of Rs 2 lakh from the bank in 2018-19 by pledging 63 cents of land. He subsequently received a revenue recovery notice from the bank seeking repayment of Rs 36 lakh.

The ED communication said the agency initiated the investigation based on a First Information Report (FIR) registered by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB), Wayanad, against K K Abraham and P U Thomas under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Later, the VACB filed a charge sheet against K K Abraham and nine others in the case.

The ED investigation revealed that the bank officials and its governing body members sanctioned bloated loans without the consent and knowledge of the applicants by ‘surreptitiously’ and ‘illegally’ overvaluing properties offered as collateral. The deliberately wrong valuations were done by Sajeevan Kollapallil.

“The loans were not repaid by the applicants and thus caused a total loss of Rs.5.62 crore to the PSCB,” the ED said. The proceeds of the crime were deposited in the bank account of Sajeevan Kollappallil at the PSCB and subsequently withdrawn in cash. The ED had arrested Sajeevan Kollapallil and K K Abraham and they are in judicial custody now.

The ruling CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) has been controlling the bank’s managing committee. The stakeholders and depositors had formed a Janakeeya Samara Samithi, an action council of victims, as they feared lethargy on the part of the State government in taking action against the accused.

The government came under increased pressure after the farmer committed suicide, even as the VACB inquiry was on. The action council had staged a series of agitations against the bank's administrative body, demanding justice for the victims.

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