A self-styled bishop has been arrested on charges of siphoning off around Rs 10 crore from three contractors on the pretext of constructing houses for poor people, police said in Kanchipuram on Saturday.
'Bishop' Daiva Anandaraj of Molin Vision Church, Mahabalipuram, was arrested following a complaint by building contractors Sinha, Sivakumar and Ganesan belonging to Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu respectively, they said.
Anandaraj, claiming himself to be a bishop, had been widely publicising since last five years that he would be constructing low-cost houses for the poor in the area.
The contractors complained that the accused had not returned the huge amounts collected from them as earnest deposit for the project, which failed to take off.
Cases have been registered against 12 others, including the family members of Anandaraj, following the complaint, police said.
After the police began search of the 'bishop', his church on the East Coast Road was shut down.