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HomeFact CheckViral Claim Of ₹7000 Crores Seized In IT Raids On Kerala Believers...

Viral Claim Of ₹7000 Crores Seized In IT Raids On Kerala Believers Eastern Church Is False

An image of stacks of cash piled upon a table, claiming to  show ₹7000 crore recovered by IT team after alleged raids on Kerala Believers Eastern Church is going viral on social media platforms. The post also claims that Bishop Johanan Wagyara of the church has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate.

Newschecker team received several requests on our WhatsApp Helpline (+91 9999499044) for fact-checking this claim.

WhatsApp request to fact check raids on Kerala Believers Eastern Church
Image Courtesy WhatsApp

The claim is viral on both Twitter and Facebook.

Image Courtesy Facebook Search

Fact Check/ Verification

On a quick verification, Newschecker found that the social media posts, claiming raids on Kerala Believers Eastern Church, was shared extensively earlier in November, 2020 as well. Twitter User Kavita Tewari tweeted this claim which garnered 1,777 likes and 839 retweets.

This claim of alleged raids on Kerala Believers Eastern Church was revived in May, 2021 by Twitter user Subhash Pandey T.A.B. which garnered over 3000 likes and 2675 retweets.

The claim is viral on Facebook and Twitter.

Newschecker team was led to news reports from November 5, 2020 through a keyword search of the claim. It was reported that the Income Tax Department conducted raids on Kerala Believers Eastern Church on November 5, 2020.

Also read: Video Of Christian Flags On Lord Balaji Ratha Not From Religious Procession But From Farmers’ Agitation

The Hindu reported that the Income Tax “Officials said unexplained cash of approximately ₹6 crore was recovered during the searches, which also included ₹3.85 crore from a place of worship in Delhi.”

Using this as a clue, Newschecker checked the Ministry of Finance website and found an Income Tax Department press release from November 6, 2020 which said that Rs. 6 crores were seized during the raid.

Courtesy Ministry of Finance

A Mathrubhumi article on the same issue published images which are similar to the viral claim. 

Courtesy Mathrubhumi

Furthermore, Newschecker’s keyword search also revealed that the priest in the viral image is the Bishop of the church K.P. Yohannan, and not  Bishop Johanan Wagyara. On extensively researching the incident, we also found no reports of any arrest made against the Bishop as was claimed.

Conclusion

The viral claim that Income Tax Officials found Rs. 7000 core in raids on Kerala Believers Eastern Church is misleading. The raid was conducted but only Rs. 6 crore was seized from the church.

Result: Misleading

Our Sources:

The Hindu

Indian Express

Mathrubhumi


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