The four-day Income Tax raids spanning over 28 locations in Chennai, Coimbatore, Trichy, Madurai and Kerala including residence and offices of evangelist Paul Dhinakaran and his Jesus Calls ministry have helped to unearth massive tax evasion to several crores and seizure of 5 kg of gold and Rs.118 crore unaccounted cash.
Crackdown on Christian preachers, conversion combines, and evangelical activities by Central enforcement forces have given jittery moments nowadays in Tamil Nadu and other parts of Bharat. The latest was the raid -IT officials came calling on “Jesus Calls” which is a global Christian Ministry floated by late DGS Dhinakaran. Jesus Calls is owned by a preacher and business baron Paul Dhinakaran.
In November, Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided the premises owned by Tiruvalla-headquartered (Kerala) Believers Eastern Church of self-styled evangelist Metropolitan Archbishop Athanasius Yohan aka K P Yohannan which resulted in unearthing of unaccounted money transactions of various trusts under the Church. The officials found a cash flow of around 2,397 crores during 2015-16 financial including foreign funds, transfer from other local sources, contributions brought forward from previous years with interest. Modi government has banned lakhs of NGOs run by Christian missionaries and blocked their sources. Both the ED and IT sleuths have been keeping an eye on the activities of such outfits under radar for quite some time. These outfits’ role have been found in protests against anti-CAA, Sterlite, Jallikattu ban, Kudankulam Nuclear Power plant, only to name a few.
Following complaints of tax evasion and foreign funds irregularities on 20th January, over 300 IT officials carried out raids at 28 locations in Chennai, Coimbatore and other places connected controversial Christian Evangelist Paul Dhinakaran and his Christian Ministry “Jesus Calls”, Karunya Institute of Technology and Science (Coimbatore) Karunya Christian School in Avinashi Road campus Coimbatore and residences of some of the senior officials of the university and Jesus Calls ministry. The raids are still continuing at the time of filing this report. Dhinakaran has a larger follower’s base among Evangelical preachers in the state and runs slew of organizations. According to reports, Jesus Calls had not disclosed all foreign funds it received and also had been hiding investments. Officials are keen to know the details of funds received from foreign countries, where they are invested and possible tax evasions. It is the third such raid in Coimbatore district in the past two months.
At the end of the four day raid that began on 20th and ended on 23rd, IT officials seized gold weighing 4.5 kg and detected unaccounted income to the tune of 120 crores. Unconfirmed sources the tax evasion was over one thousand crores, as the officials yet to perusal the documents obtained during the course of raids. IT sources said, “we are looking at his companies and trusts that are located across 12 countries including Israel, Singapore, UK, and the US. They have more than 200 bank accounts that have to be scrutinized”.
Rag to Rich
When fingers (falsely) are pointing fingers towards Isha Foundation founded Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev of land grabbing and causing environmental pollution, none noticed his neighbor Dhinakaran’s alleged illegal activities and their meteoric rise in a short of span time. Paul Dhinakaran’s prayer meets or festivals across the country attract 5 lakh people every month. He has been doing this in the past 35 years. The ministry also telecasts 400 programmes a month in 10 different languages across the world.
DGS Duraisamy Geoffery Dhinakaran (DGS Dhinakaran), a native of Surandai in Tirunelveli district, born into a middle class family, left his clerical job in a bank to became a slot in Christianity which promised him a bright future with a promise of billionaire in quick period. He was inspired by American neo-Pentecostal Christian televangelist Okalahoma Graville “Oral” Roberts who founded Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association and conducted 300 evangelistic and healing crusades on six continents. He was the guest speaker for hundreds of national and international meetings and conventions. Roberts was claiming to speaking gods and acting as per his guidance or oracles. He founded University and bible schools. He began his career from preaching intents to preaching on radio, television. He penned over 120 books. Cases were filed against him courts accusing of amassing wealth, funding political and other purposes. The 2020 Malayalam movie 'Trance' portrayed a poor man become billionaire by preaching.
The same way DGS copied each and everything from Oral Robert as pre-set sketch. He left his banking job at the age of 27 (1962) to take up evangelical activities. His Jesus calls Ministry attracted huge crowd and his prayer sessions assured to free them from all diseases, sins and woes. Foreign funds started flowing into his ministry in lakhs and crores. With this money he bought a land where set up Karunya Educational Trust and University. His buying spree know no bounds. He invested in land and properties all over the state. With his influence in government, Karunya was accorded autonomous status.
DGS Dhinakaran, who promised to cure people, has himself affected seriously and died. At that time his asset is valued at over Rs 45,000 crore. He and other preachers fooled the gullible poor of curing them from all diseases including congenital with their rhyming messages like “ blinds can see, crippled can walk, deaf will hear, dumb will speech, CD can cure Kidney failure etc and made them mentally affected besides robbing them of their hard earned money. This modern-day computer age thieves who cheat poor for believing them of having magical power to cure, go to hospitals for their diseases.
Dinakaran went to Brookline hospital in US for Kidney transplant and his wife , alleged to be, died of cancer , his daughter Angel died in a road accident ( (Another preacher Mohan C Lazrus of Jesus Redeems Ministries do not have children). TN has a large number such fake preachers, currency doubling, promising brass into gold, fake lottery , illegal CD business and grabbing lands with forged documents. Conversion Mafia (Chancellor of Karunya University, founder of Seesha- a humanitarian organization) Paul Dhinakaran family , allegedly, caught hiding liquor on their luxurious yacht with family. (@ Cosmicblinker, November 26,2020).
Close on the heels of a film Mookuthi Amman in Tamil Nadu that depicted land grab activities of an Hindu sadhu, Hindu outfits and public demanded action against Dhinakaran ministry for illegally encroaching 900 + acres of land in elephant corridors, forest land and mountains. They also sought demolition of Karunya University, located at the foothills of Western Ghats and spread over 800 acres, sits on the elephant corridor.
Legal Rights Observatory (LRO) in a tweet on December 7, 2020, said “ Fake Prophet Paul Dhinakaran’s CogWheel Trust, Peniel Orphanage, Buckley Orphanage, and YMCA got crores for kids, but used it to squat 900 acres of #Elephant corridor forest land, paid himself in million, wrote @HMOIndia to cancel/ prosecute those NGOs #Conversion Mafia++” . In another tweet LRO said “Nearly 30 prayer Towers located across India. Dhinakarans own real estate for 17 of those n in d world. Dhinakaran sells prayer packages like insurance policies or pre-paid telephone cards for Rs.3,000 worth of donation. Dr Paul Dhinakaran seems to be the Criminal -in -Chief who runs umpteen of spurious NGOs not only in India but also internationally and partners with various CSR initiatives and government programmes and siphons off funds , squats at government lands and encroaches++”.
Before the last Lok Sabha Polls, this self-claimed prophet predicted that the current rulers would be thrown out and younger leaders would replace them. The new government will allow them to build churches with approval with government emblem. “Paul Dhinakaran takes Rs 500-10000 as prayer charge (no GST) claiming his God will cure all diseases but his own father (a much bigger preacher at his time) died of Kidney failure”. “ Left and pro-Christian political leaders ask always why Hindu Sadhus indulge in extravaganza who denounce worldly things and mundane materialistic life but never questions the Christian missionaries and Muslim preachers who get money to help poor and do charities but become billionaire leading a lavish lifestyle questions journalist Bala Gauthamam. Ever heard of getting key to heaven? Yes, Dhinakaran did a roaring business by selling Gold, Platinum, Brass, Silver keys to reach heaven. Any key can open the lock even irrespective of material it was made. They are sold in various denominations? How did accounted funds realise from this business and on what head? Did he pay any taxes to the revenue’ he get?
The government was silent all these years and helped his criminal activities flourish leaves and bounds besides naming a road in DGS Dhinakaran name. They also run several channels to spread Christianity. He falsely claimed of having magical power to cure all diseases. The government should have taken action against for cheating, forgery long ago. They should all be booked under the provisions of Drugs and Magic Remedies (objectionable advertisement) act for their quackery. He started his career with crime and cheating intent and no wonder he indulges in tax evasion. People like ought to have been brought under the long arms of the law. The present action should not end with raids but it should see its logical end”.
Vlogger Balasubramanian in a video said during the pandemic period, there was an illegal transfer of Rs. 1000 crores from abroad which were not declared or accounted for within the time frame. He said this unaccounted money was transferred through an NGO to fund the ongoing Farmers’ protest at Delhi. He said another illegal transfer of Rs 300 to 600 crores to a main opposition party in Tamil Nadu which has been out of power for the past ten years ( in an indirect reference to DMK) . The vlogger said the Union government which has been monitoring him for a long time conducted raids armed with money trails. During the UPA rule, authorities found huge tax evasion by Paul Dhinakaran but the DMK and a TN based union minister had scuttled the action move against him. Only after NDA came to power, Dhinakaran files were reopened.
Paul Dhinakaran family, according to reports, has been owning 2 private jets, one luxury yacht, 10 luxury villas in USA besides running a million businesses. Journalist Jayakrishna said, “Any raid on any Hindu mutt, ashram, Nityananda, we saw how TN media was running 24 hr live debates and showing each and every corner of their bungalows, are now totally blind and dumb. We don’t who is operating them to choose news that has to be aired or printed”. Gujarat Forest dept, according to media reports, is planning to take legal action against Paul Dhinakaran over unauthorized use of the department’s logo. It tweets that the controversial Dhinakaran unlawfully using the forest department logo on the web page of his organization SEESHA (Samiti for Education, Environment, Social and Health Action). It also said, “they have nothing to do with Paul Dhinakaran or his associate. Misunderstanding if any, is clarified. Unauthorized use of Dept. logo on SEESHA webpage being dealt with legally”. It was a response to a tweet by former IPS officer M Nageswara Rao.
Social media was abuzz with comments for and against raids. Many believe that such raids will be the order of the day even in West Bengal where polls are due. Prof. S Venugopalan tweeted, “But unfortunately the gen belief of 99% of the public is that nothing would happen to PK like ppl who’ve amassed wealth more than what a state/central government could earn over the years. Especially churches are too powerful here as their influence in all depts. Incld IT & Revenue is immense. … No conviction could come. Even comes, would come after 25 -30 years’ time like sister Abbaya murder case that lasted 30+ years. Govt and Law machinery lost their creds….. Hence raids won’t help either the govt to punish the wrongdoers or their wealth wl be attached with govt. Christian are in dictating position in the society”.
_brf said, “No ED/IT raids result in an immediate conviction because of the nature of economic crimes is, dept asks for an explanation and they have to give time to get it and then process it and only then they can charge. Court proceedings then take years”. A road in Chennai is being named after DGS Dhinakaran. This is to show his clout in the Dravidian led governments.
Paul Dhinakaran family is currently abroad (Canada). IT department has served notice to him appear before them for questioning. He is said to be a foreign citizen and would give a miss to the summons.