Malayalam cinema in Enforcement Directorate net? Agency to look into financial records of hit films

After filing a case against the makers of the Malayalam movie Manjummel Boys for alleged financial irregularities, the Enforcement Directorate has sought legal advice to freeze the bank accounts of producers and distributors of the film.

There are allegations of inflating ticket collections for Manjummel Boys for money laundering purposes.

According to media reports, the probe agency is planning to collect financial information, including the costs of production, of successful Malayalam movies over the past years.

Two filmmakers have already provided information to the ED regarding financial fraud happening in the industry.

A slew of Malayalam movies, including Manjummel Boys, Aadujeevitham, Aavesham, and Premalu, crossed the Rs 100 crore mark this year.

According to a Malayala Manorama report, the agency was informed about a lobby that is working to inflate the ratings and collection of the movie and attract more people to the theatres. According to a complaint received by the ED, the alleged lobby behind money laundering received several free movie tickets in advance and this would later be added to the collection of the movie.

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Parava Films, the production house behind Manjummel Boys, has been mired in controversy after Siraj Valiyaveettil, a native of Alappuzha, levelled serious charges against the makers of the movie. In his complaint, Siraj claimed that he invested Rs 7 crore in the movie as he was under the impression that the total budget of the movie was Rs 22 crore. However, he later realized that the film was shot with a budget of only Rs 18.65 crore.