Chennai: Tsunami Relief Fund of INR 7.5 Crore Misused

by OldSailor on October 13, 2009


swindle Office bearers of CSI church in Royapettah have misused INR 7.5 crore in the pretext of providing tsunami (December 2004) relief in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
It is shocking to read a news report from The Times of India dated October 12 that highlights the following:

  • CSI church in Royapettah received INR 17.63 crore from US-based NGO Episcopal Relief & Development to carry out rehabilitation of tsunami-affected people in Chennai.
  • Misuse of INR 7.5 crores has come to light when the new office bearers of the CSI church approached Episcopal Relief & Development for more funds.
  • Episcopal Relief & Development demanded details of tsunami relief provided with the money already given. The new office bearers of the CSI church could not get details of tsunami relief provided in Chennai by the previous office bearer Pauline.
  • Now during an internal audit carried out by the CSI Church, irregularities were noticed and the CSI church approached Chennai police to investigate.
  • Chennai police have
    • arrested a lady doctor Dr Benedicta and her nephew Robert Sunil on October 10 for allegedly siphoning out INR 7.5 crore.
    • also confiscated two luxury cars, valued at Rs 18 lakh each believed to have been purchased by the accused.
  • A hunt is on by the Chennai police to trace Pauline and her husband Sathyamurthy who engaged their daughter Dr Benedicta and her nephew as Tsunami rehabilitation project consultants and paid them INR 80,000 to INR 90,000 per month as salary and other emoluments including luxury cars for official use.

Response from U.S. based NGO Episcopal Relief & Development:

  • Episcopal_Relief_Developmentsuspended programs with CSI two years back as CSI failed to provide financial reporting and required audits of funds allocated in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
  • in the process of initiating a separate legal action within the next few days.

Read more

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