Monday, 19 March 2012

The evidence of Arulraj's million pound scam

"I can live my priestly life under a tree or in a hut. I do not need these buildings. They are meant for the disabled children and not for me. I have lived hard way and I can live hard way till my death."
                      -  (Fr) Gali Arulraj.  Email to Enable's Chair, Alison Davis, 6 May 2006

"All these years I was doing all the works that have been asked by Fr Gali Arulraj on your behalf without taking a rupee except the gift you give when you come to India."
                     - (Fr) Vatakili Paulinraj.  Final email to Alison Davis and Colin Harte, 3 June 2006

Well, that's what they said......but the evidence tells a very different story:

The  fraudulent DNSSD accounts for the year ending March 2006   indicate that apart from about £3,000 received from two other sources, DNSSD relied on Enable to funds its projects. This was the pattern of previous years too and Enable understood it was providing 98% of DNSSD's income.

The (genuine) DNSSD bank statements (of which I now have a copy), that came to light during the police investigation, revealed that in the years during which Enable understood that it was providing a necessary 98% of DNSSD's income, it was in fact providing only 37% of its income.  In addition to Enable's funds, DNSSD received during that period donations of INR (Indian Rupees) 85,350,785 from other overseas sources. This amount was embezzled - not used for charitable purposes. Taking into account fluctuations in the exchange rate this is an amount in the region of 1.2 million pounds sterling (close to two million dollars or euros).

If you scammed a million pounds in the UK or the equivalent amount of dollars in the USA you would be a wealthy person. Multiply that amount several times and you will get a glimpse of the scale of luxury provided by Arulraj's scam in a small town like Ongole in South India.

The palatial property in Gollipudi Street, Santhapet, Ongole built for Arulraj's wife and children from embezzled funds

The same property, which is so secluded it cannot be seen clearly from the main road, and is too large to be pictured clearly.  This side view was photographed by me after a neighbour allowed me access to his property.

The charge sheet, dealing with the crimes of Arulraj and his associates was filed in court in Ongole and  reveals what happened to some of the embezzled funds.  In addition to the property, photographed above, it gives details of other properties (not previously declared) in Ongole and also one as far away as Bangalore.

The charge sheet gives details of a property, constructed for INR 21,01,112 (about £30,000 - a large amount in Ongole) in the name of (Fr) Vatakili Paulinraj. Why he needed the house is unclear given that he  was working as a parish priest some distance away at the time, living in a house provided by the diocese. Unlike Arulraj who was scamming full-time, Paulinraj visited the DNSSD projects for just a few hours every week or two. There is no way that a priest like Paulinraj could have honestly amassed such a large amount (especially by Indian standards) to construct a house for himself.   Paulinraj also had  INR 48,77,700 (about £70,000) transferred from DNSSD in his bank account.   Arulraj rewarded his nephew Paulinraj well for his involvement in the scams, no doubt knowing he couldn't have been so successful without him. 

In addition to the properties he bought or constructed from embezzled funds, the charge sheet records that Arulraj had INR 65,56,749 (about £94,000) transferred from DNSSD in his personal bank account. The DNSSD bank statements show that the charity account had also been used like a personal bank account with a range of large withdrawals made over the years for unidentified purposes.

The evidence of the bank statements, as well as the findings uncovered by the Indian police investigation and included in the charge sheet, demonstrates clearly that Gali Arulraj, with the support of Vatakili Paulinraj and others, was a million pound scammer.