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CBI begins probe into swindling case against 2 Christian charities

The CBI has taken over the probe related to misappropriation of charitable fund sent from the Netherlands to two Christian organisations in the state.

Published: 08th May 2020 06:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th May 2020 06:45 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOCHI: The CBI has taken over the probe related to misappropriation of charitable fund sent from the Netherlands to two Christian organisations in the state. The case which was probed by the state Crime Branch (CB) was handed over to the CBI as a violation of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) FCR Act came to light and it was found that the organisations received crores of rupees from abroad over the past four- and-a-half decades.

As per the CBI FIR, Joseph Pallikunnel, leader of Good Samaritan Projects India and Catholic Reformation Literature Society, was arraigned as accused in the case. Both the organisations were also listed as accused. The complainant is Vincent Panikulangara, of Aluva. The case was registered under IPC Sections 406, 420 and Section 37 of the FCR Act.

In the FIR, the CBI stated that the accused, being the board member of the charitable organisation based in Cheriathura in Thiruvananthapura, cheated a Netherlands-based Christian agency, Stichting Woord en Daad (W and D). The funds for charity works were deposited to Foreign Currency Non-Resident Account of a private bank from 1974 to 2009. The fund was allegedly used for personal needs.

Plots of land were purchased in Kottayam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram and various parts of Tamil Nadu but were disposed of without the consent of W and D. Another allegation is that `1.07 crore was sent for constructing houses for tsunami victims but the fund was not properly utilised. Similarly, `1.03 crore transferred for starting a school for specially-abled children in 2005 was also not properly utilised.

“The case was originally registered in 2012 at Valiyathura police station. The case was later transferred to the CB. Even a petition was given by W and D to the CB regarding the of funds. As per the CB, the NGOs started charity organisations like schools and hospitals but were later closed and some were turned into resorts. Since the case is related to violation of FCR, which also requires probe abroad, the CBI was entrusted to conduct further investigation,” a CBI official said. CBI Special Crime Branch re-registered the case. The FIR was filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Thiruvananthapuram last week. 

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