Money laundering: ED to probe financial transactions of recent Malayalam hits

Two filmmakers reportedly approached the central investigating agency with information on alleged black money transactions.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 20, 2024 | 4:01 PM Updated Jun 20, 2024 | 4:01 PM

ED to probe financial transactions of recent Malayalam blockbusters

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is all set to probe the production costs and financial transactions of Malayalam blockbusters made in the past five years.

The ED’s move comes in the wake of the money laundering case registered against the producers of Manjummel Boys recently. The producers are also facing allegations of inflated box-office figures.

The film became a blockbuster hit by grossing over ₹220 crore worldwide.

According to the ED officials, two filmmakers approached them with information on alleged black money transactions by the makers of Malayalam blockbusters, prompting a detailed probe.

The Malayalam industry registered collections to the tune of over ₹700 crore in the first five months of this year.

Of these, four Malayalam films—Premalu, Manjummel Boys, Aadujeevitham, and Aaveshamentered the elite ₹100 crore.

Meanwhile, the central investigating agency is also learnt to have sought legal advice to freeze the bank accounts of the producers and distributors of Manjummel Boys.

Earlier too, the ED initiated a probe into money laundering in Malayalam cinema.

It conducted raids at the offices of various production houses in 2023 after black money transactions were reported.

Related: ED quizzes ‘Manjummel Boys’ producer Soubin Shahir 

It all started with Manjummel Boys

The ED officials registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) against Manjummel Boys producers.

It also sent notices to Parava Films founders Soubin Shahir, Babu Shahir, and Shawn Antony to appear for questioning in the money laundering case.

On 14 June, the central investigating agency questioned Soubin Shahir, actor and one of the producers of Manjummel Boys, in connection with the money laundering case filed against Parava Films.

Earlier, Shawn Antony was summoned for questioning.

The producers landed in trouble after the Ernakulam Maradu police filed a cheating case against them in April this year following an order from the Ernakulam First Class Magistrate Court.

Siraj, a resident of Aroor, filed a petition in the court claiming that the Manjummel Boys producers cheated him by not repaying the amount (₹7 crore) they took from him in different instalments and not paying him the promised share of 40 percent share in the profits.

Siraj also alleged that the producers duped him by making him believe that they invested ₹22 crore in the film as against ₹10 crore.

Related: Police report confirms financial fraud by ‘Manjummel Boys’ producers

(Edited by Y Krishna Jyothi)

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