A pastor has been arrested in Tamil Nadu for duping people of money by promising employment in foreign countries. The pastor and his wife collected more than Rs.10 lakhs from 6 people. Affected people filed complaints with the police based which the pastor has been arrested.
Purushothaman, a daily wager, came to know pastor Joseph Raja, son of Samikannu. Joseph and his wife Raghava Sangeetha told Purushothaman that they can get him a job in a foreign country if the latter arranges some money. Believing this and enthused at the prospect of employment in a foreign country, Purushothaman had given Rs.4.9 lakhs to the pastor and his wife.
They duped 5 other people in the same way on the promise of finding a job abroad. The couple collected Rs.11.7 lakhs but didn’t find employment for anyone. When the affected people demanded to return the money they didn’t respond properly. Victims filed complaints with Vadalur police who arrested pastor Joseph Raj. His wife is absconding and cops are on the lookout for her.
This is not the first time pastors dupe people of money on the promise of employment, house, loan, etc. In January a pastor and some Tamil Christians were arrested for collecting Rs 1.5 crore from people on the promise of finding jobs in Canada and sending them to the country. The pastor claimed to run an NGO through which he sends poor people to Canada for better employment and get them Canadian citizenship as well.
In December 2020, Victor Jesudas, another pastor had duped daily wagers of Rs.2.27 lakhs by promising scholarships for their children. He had claimed that he would receive money from foreigners through his trust.
In June 2020, Charles, a pastor in Tirunelveli, TN had collected Rs.30 lakhs from youngsters by promising them employment in foreign countries. Upon investigation police found that he was booked on the same charges a few years ago as well.
A pastor in Salem, TN had promised to build houses for the poor saying that he is receiving money from foreign countries to help them. He collected Rs.25,000 – Rs.40,000 each from more than 200 people to initiate document preparation for construction. He had collected Rs.1 crore in this manner but didn’t build houses. Later he claimed that the money he expected to arrive didn’t come and he spent all the money they had given him.
These are not stray incidents as there are many NGOs that claim to help the poor dupe people of money and property. While there are fraudulent individuals and organisations like this, many Christian FCRA NGOs receive money from abroad to “help” the marginalised and convert them. Activists who are in the know of such devious methods of Christian NGOs have been requesting the centre to repeal FCRA Act altogether.