After day-long raids at the district cooperative bank at Malappuram in Kerala, CBI sleuths seized Rs 226 crore that was deposited without documentation. While the Central agency officials claimed that the money was illegal since it had no verification of those who deposited it, the Kerala Minister for Cooperatives K Surendran maintained that the bank did not have to adhere to Know Your Customer norms.
The Enforcement Directorate and the CBI had carried out raids on cooperative banks in Kollam, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Thrissur districts and the CBI had stumbled upon Rs 226 crore in deposits made between November 9 and 14 without proper documentation. It is suspected that the money was ill-gotten and was deposited in an attempt to launder it.
The CBI has sought details of all deposits made to cooperative banks. The banks as well as the state government maintains that the raids were politically motivated and that the money that was seized was legal and most of it came from cooperative societies that have accounts with the banks. The CBI is in the process of verifying the source of these deposits that were made right after the November 8 demonetisation announcement.
It is noteworthy that the LDF led Kerala government as well as the UDF led opposition had taken opposition to union government's decision to keep cooperative banks out of money exchange post demonetisation.
They had even staged a joint demonstration and called for a hartal in Kerala demanding that cooperative banks be allowed to exchange demonetised notes with new currency notes. The BJP leaders in the state had alleged that the cooperative banks have turned into safe haven for money laundering by political parties in the state.