KOCHI: Church of South India (CSI) Southern Kerala Diocese Bishop Dharmaraj Rasalam was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) at its office in Kochi on Wednesday in a money laundering case. The interrogation, which began at 11 am, continued till 9pm. The bishop will be questioned again in the coming days. The national agency had raided the offices and residences of Bishop Rasalam and Church officials including the director of Dr Somervell Memorial Medical College in Thiruvananthapuram.
ED suspects money was laundered after capitation fees were illegally collected for MBBS and MD admissions at the Church-owned medical college in Thiruvananthapuram.
ED case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act was a follow-up of the FIR registered by the Crime Branch related to financial misappropriation in connection with the collection of capitation fees. Even though the Crime Branch gave the bishop a clean-chit in the case, the Kerala High Court ordered the investigation agency to conduct a detailed probe.
On Tuesday, the Bureau of Immigration at Thiruvananthapuram airport had prevented Bishop Rasalam from travelling to the UK to attend an international conference. ED officers reached the airport later and asked the bishop to appear for qusstioning.