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‘Believers Church used paper firms to route unaccounted money’

The action covered 66 premises in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Karnataka, Chandigarh, Punjab and Telangana.

Published: 08th November 2020 05:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th November 2020 05:13 AM   |  A+A-

church-Christians

Representational Photo

By Express News Service

KOCHI: After conducting detailed raids on the premises of self-styled evangelist and Believers Eastern Church founder K P Yohannan at different locations in the country, the Income Tax (I-T) sleuths have found that the group belonging to the evangelist routed unaccounted money through organisations which remained only on paper.

“The group runs about 30 trusts, registered across the country, and most of them exist only on paper and have been found to be used for routing the unaccounted funds and for accommodation transactions. It has been found that the modus operandi of the group is to systematically inflate expenses with the help of other parties, who will return the inflated amount in cash through domestic hawala channels to the functionaries of the group,” said  an I-T dept communique.

According to the IT department,  the searches were carried out based on credible information that the group, which enjoyed exemption under the I-T Act, 1961 as charitable/religious trust, received donations from foreign countries ostensibly for helping the poor and destitute and  evangelical purposes but was actually siphoning off such tax-exempted funds to engage in unaccounted cash transactions for personal and other illegal expenses in real estate transactions. 

“The group runs places of worship, several schools and colleges across the country, a Medical College and a hospital in Kerala. The action covered 66 premises in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Karnataka, Chandigarh, Punjab and Telangana. During the search, evidence of systematic inflation of expenses in consumables, construction, real estate development and payment of salary etc was found. The searches shed light on a number of real estate transactions involving unaccounted cash payments.

Related documents such as sale agreements have been seized. The group has also inflated the price in real estate transactions to make it appear as though the money received in donations is being spent on the activities of the trusts,” the official statement said. “The evidence found so far indicate that the siphoning of funds in cash may run into several hundred crore. Unaccounted cash of approximately Rs6 crore, including Rs3.85 crore from a place of worship in Delhi, has also been seized during the search,” the statement said. IT officials said a detailed investigation is on to unearth more shady deals carried out by the group.



Comments(4)

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  • Joe

    Thank you for bringing this to light. I am in deep pain and anguish over the affairs of Believers church. If this is true they have brought disrepute to the name to Christ. God will not tolerate such people. I pray to God that the Government of India uncovers more such scamsters who ruin the name of the Christian Church. It is better that such persons leave Christianity.
    8 months ago reply
    • Rev. Narendra Ray

      Brother don't judge to anyone so quickly before judging someone go to the facts. BEC metropolitan is doing for all mankind. It's only political issue this government root is RSS you know their intentions. It'll better to pray for Metropolitan and all leaders for this hard time. Please pray mighty man Dr. KP Yohanan.
      8 months ago reply
      • Azeez

        You are absolutely right.ll these tricks of saving Income tax is done usually as per the advice of chartered accountants and is followed by almost all big companies. There is no need to blame Yohannan. They are doing a lot of charity work in India, which is politically not correct for this government. So no need to blame Believers Church.
        8 months ago reply
      • Aashish

        Wrong is Wrong. Don't blame RSS
        8 months ago reply
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