Thiruvalla: The Income Tax department said that the Believers Eastern Church has hawala transactions worth crores. The I-T department also found that the church laundered crores of money and has several establishments in seven states.
I-T department raids at the headquarters of Believers Eastern Church and its establishments continue even on Saturday. The raids started on Thursday. It is learned that raids are undergoing at 66 spots across the country including states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Punjab, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Delhi.
It is learnt that around Rs 14.5 crore in unaccounted currency has been traced from various spots. However, the officials are yet to confirm this.
Documents revealing receipt of foreign funds by the church without following norms have been found. The Church is yet to officially respond about the raids.
The church laundered money by establishing charitable trusts in various states. Those who aided this have also come under the purview of the investigation.
Funds used for charity are exempted from Income Tax. However, it is learnt that such funds were used to amass assets worth crores.
As there is evidence of money laundering, the Enforcement Directorate will conduct an investigation. The ED is taking the preliminary steps in this regard.