The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday (October 21, 2023) said that it issued a provisional attachment order under anti-money laundering act PMLA to seize movable and immovable properties worth Rs 5.38 crore in connection with the Life Mission Scam case of Kerala.
In an official statement the ED said the assets attached include residential properties held in the name of Santhosh Eappen and immovable property and bank balances held in the name of Swapna Suresh.
“The ‘Kerala Life Mission Case’ pertains to the alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulations) Act in the project, which intended to provide homes to the poor who lost their houses in the floods of 2018,” it said.
The project intended to build houses for 140 families in Vadakkanchery by spending Rs 14.50 crore out of Rs 18.50 crore granted by the Red Crescent via the UAE consulate.
It further said that the properties attached are in the name of Santosh Eappen, managing director of Unitac Builders, the firm that was given a contract to build houses for the poor, who lost their houses in the floods.
The scam surfaced after the gold smuggling case came to light in June 2020 in which Sivasankar, former principal secretary to chief minister had been jailed, it said. Adding that both Swapna Suresh and Sarith PS, the accused in the case employed in the UAE Consulate were later found to be involved in Life Mission funds misappropriation as well.
During the course of the investigation, it was revealed that the Life Mission of the Government of Kerala had made a Memorandum of Undertaking (MoU) with Red Crescent, UAE for the construction of residential apartments to flood affected people in Wadakkanchery Municipality, the ED said.