KOCHI: The Income Tax (Investigation) Unit, Kerala on Thursday carried out simultaneous raids at residences and offices of real estates dealers involved in the dubious land deals allegedly by Ernakulam-Angamaly arch-diocese. The Income Tax office confirmed that raid is being held at 20 locations at various parts of Ernakulam, Idukki and Thrissur districts.
Sources said the raid was carried out after a preliminary inquiry following the revelation of unaccounted money used in the land transaction. The raids also held at the residence of Saju Varghese Kunnel the main dealer in the land deal at Kothamangalam. Similarly, the residence of his close relatives was also checked. "The raid started at 7 am. The main purpose of the raid was to check whether unaccounted money was used in the land transaction," sources said.
The internal probe launched by the archdiocese also had revealed unaccounted money in the land transaction. As per the report by the probe committee appointed by the diocese, the total amount receivable according to 36 deeds was Rs 13.52 crore. But there was a huge difference of amount between the documented amount and the amount presented at the resolution by Curia (governing body). The amount is suspected to be received as unaccounted money.
The Church decided to sell five plots, nearly 306.98 cents, to resolve its financial crisis. The land price was fixed between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 19 lakh per cent in various locations. The person, who was entrusted with the land sale, sold the plots to 36 persons.
As per the land sale deed on June 21, 2016, the Archdiocese should get Rs 27.30 crore. But even after one and half years, the Church received only Rs 9.13 crore from the deal.