Feds arrest Indian bishop on money laundering charges

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The former moderator of the Church of North India has been placed in seven days custody by a court in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh so that he may be interrogated by India’s Federal Directorate of Enforcement (ED) for interrogation.

On 12 April 2023 agents from the ED arrested P.C. Singh, the former bishop in Jabalpur and moderator, or presiding bishop, of the Indian church for money laundering. Federal authorities became interested in the case of ex-bishop Singh after he was arrested by state police last year on 14 Sept 2022  at the Nagpur Airport, Maharashtra, upon his arrival home from Europe following a vacation after the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury by officers of the officers of the Madhya Pradesh Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the state police.

They allege Bishop Singh diverted tuition payments made to diocesan schools between 2004-2005 and 2011-2012 to his own pocket. It is also alleged Bishop Singh is complicit in the fraudulent sale of church land in partnership with the former Bishop in Lucknow, the Rt. Rev. Peter Baldev, who was a fugitive from justice for four months until his arrest in July. 

Bishop Singh and a confederate, BS Solanki were charged with 84 criminal counts, allegedly violating the Indian Penal Code Section 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using a forged document or electronic record), and 120B (criminal conspiracy).

The ED carried out a two day search in March of Singh’s office and residence and seized documents; however, he was not arrested. The federal team also interrogated Singh, his family members, and their associates during the course of the raid. 

The special court that ordered Singh’s re-arrest is charged with prosecution of Federal money laundering crimes, and works in tandem to the state criminal court.

The case continues.