IT raids on Christian denomination head K P Yohannan
In a nationwide raid at many States, the Income Tax department unearths huge cash and more than 500 crores illegal (hawala) money swindling by self-styled Christian denomination head K P Yohannan, who is running Believers Church and Gospel Asia. These organizations for the past few decades routing millions of dollars to India for religious conversion, basically Hindus from lower castes and facing a lot of allegations. This Kerala based evangelist had raised his own denomination and self-appointed as Metropolitan and Income Tax from November 5 conducting raids at his offices in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Karnataka, Chandigarh, Punjab, and Telangana. Income Tax found that he floated more than 30 trusts and even deposited money in Kolkata based shell firms for money swindling.
The headquarters of K P Yohannan’s organization Believers Church is in Thiruvalla in Kerala. The group operates places of worship, a number of schools and colleges across the country, a medical college, and a hospital in Kerala. Raids were going at 66 places of Yohannan’s Churches and other establishments who enjoy big clout and having associations with many top political leaders. For the past 30 years, this group was getting huge money from the USA, Canada, and many European churches for conversion in India.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is also expected to probe into the huge money laundering and routing by this controversial evangelist.
“The Believers Church and Gospel Asia group operates 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 would return the inflated amount in cash through domestic hawala channels to the functionaries of the group. Some of these other parties were also covered in the search action. The search has led to the unearthing of a number of real estate transactions involving unaccounted cash payments,” said the Income Tax officials explain the modus operandi for the self-styled Metropolitan K P Yohannan. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is also expected to probe into the huge money laundering and routing by this controversial evangelist.
“The evidence found so far indicate that the siphoning of funds in cash may be running into hundreds of crores of rupees. Unexplained cash of approximately Rs.6 crores has also been found during the search, including Rs.3.85 crore in a place of worship in Delhi. Substantial electronic computing and data storage has been found, which is being examined. Further investigations are going on,” said the tax sleuths.
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