I-T Dept Raids Evangelist’s Properties, Seizes ₹6 Crore

The Income Tax Department seized unexplained cash of approximately Rs 6 crore after conducting raids on 66 properties across the country, belonging to a self-styled evangelist from Kerala, on Thursday.

According to an official release, the search also led to the unearthing of real estate transactions involving unaccounted payments.

“The Income Tax Department has carried out search and seizure operations on 05.11.2020 in the case of a well-known self-styled evangelist of Thiruvalla in Kerala and his group of various trusts that enjoy exemption under the Income-tax Act, 1961, as charitable/religious trusts. The group operates places of worship, a number of schools and colleges, including a medical college, across the country, and a hospital in Kerala,” the release stated.

“Unexplained cash of approximately Rs 6 crore has been found during the search, including Rs 3.85 crore in a place of worship in Delhi,” the release further stated.

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

The release said that the group operates about 30 trusts, registered across the country, most of which exist only on paper and have been found to be used for routing the unaccounted funds, besides for the accommodation of transactions.

“During the search, evidence has been found of systematic inflation of expenses in the purchase of consumables, construction, real estate development, payment of salary, etc,” the release said.

Further investigation is underway. (ANI)

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