ED Raids OM Group: Noose Tightened on 'Charity Fund Raiser"

Directorate of Enforcement (ED), Hyderabad has conducted search operations at 11 locations in and around Hyderabad under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)-2002
ED Raids OM Group: Noose Tightened on 'Charity Fund Raiser"

Directorate of Enforcement (ED), Hyderabad has conducted search operations at 11 locations in and around Hyderabad under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)-2002 in connection with irregularities in Operation Mobilization (OM) group of charities.

Charity Group Diverted Rs 300 Cr Foreign Funds:

The ED initiated investigation on the basis of FIR registered by Telangana CID against Operation Mobilization group of charities and others for raising substantial funds of around Rs 300 crore from foreign donors through Operation Mobilization and Dalit Freedom Network based in USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Argentina, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Ireland, Malaysia, Norway, Brazil, Czech Republic, France, Romania, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland in the name of providing free education and meals to Dalit and downtrodden children, studying in more than 100 Good Shepherd schools run by them, and diverting the said funds for asset creation and other unauthorized purposes.

Slogan is … ‘Education for the Poor”!

Telangana CID investigation revealed that suppressing the fact of sponsorship of students, tuition and other fees ranging from Rs 1000 to 1500 per month were collected from the students and substantial funds were put into fixed deposits and or diverted to other related entities of OM India group. Funds were also received from the government under the Right to Education Act but the same were not recorded properly and other incomes were grossly underreported in the books of accounts.

Group Spreads Telangana, Goa, Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra:

Preliminary investigation by ED revealed that several suspicious transactions indicating diversion of the funds of the OM group of charities and multiple immovable properties of the key office bearers of the group spread across Telangana, Goa, Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra. The ED investigation also revealed that FCRA registrations for most of the group entities were not renewed and to bypass the same, foreign funds received in FCRA registered ‘OM Books Foundation’ were diverted to other group entities as loans which are yet to be repaid. PMLA investigation also revealed that office bearers of Operation Mobilization group were employed as consultants with shell entities incorporated in Goa and were receiving salaries.

What the Telangana CID Revealed in 2020?

The Economic Offences Wing of the Telangana Crime Investigation Department has reportedly frozen 26 bank accounts that belong to Operation Mobilization Trust and its group of Christian Charity organizations on 21st November 2020 based on criminal complaint lodged by Albert Leal, former Chief Finance Officer of Operation Mobilization India group of charities.

Albert Lael, who is also the National director of 103 Good Shepherd Schools, has filed criminal complaints with the Criminal Investigation Department against Joseph D’Souza, his son Josh D’Souza and several others. Joseph D’Souza is the President of Christian evangelical organization, Operation Mobilization, and several other entities such as ‘Operation Mercy India Foundation’, Dignity Freedom Network (erstwhile Dalit Freedom Network), Good Shepherd Schools and All India Christian Council.

Telangana Crime Investigation Department, in their notice vide notice no. U/S 91 & 160 Cr PC, stated that during the course of an earlier ongoing investigation, the CID Police found that the accused persons have received huge amounts from abroad in the name of donations for running their charity activities, which are deposited into FDs. In order to stop this misappropriation of funds and other further diversion, the CID Police has frozen the 26 bank accounts of eight FCRA-registered Christian Organizations, including OM India. 

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