In connection with its money laundering investigation into alleged irregularities in funds collected by journalist Rana Ayyub for relief work, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a prosecution complaint, which is equivalent to a charge sheet, against her. The complaint accuses her of starting three fundraising campaigns on the “Ketto platform” starting in April 2020 and raising a total of Rs 2,69,44,680.
According to the ED’s charge sheet submitted on Wednesday in a special court in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, the campaigns were called Help in raising funds for slum dwellers and farmers, Relief work for Assam, Bihar, and Maharashtra, and Help Rana Ayyub and her team to assist those affected by Covid19 in India.
The money generated online was received in the accounts of Rana Ayyub’s sister and father before being moved to her personal accounts, according to the ED probe.
ED claimed that Rana Ayyub used these monies to transfer Rs 50 lakh to a new bank account and construct a Rs 50 lakh fixed deposit for herself.
Only around Rs 29 lakh, according to the ED inquiry, was utilised for relief efforts.
“Rana Ayyub filed phoney bills in an effort to submit additional claims for costs related to humanitarian efforts. Through a provisional attachment order dated February 4 of this year, bank balances in Rana Ayyub’s accounts totaling Rs 1,77,27,704 (including Fixed Deposits of Rs 50 lakh) were subsequently attached in accordance with section 5(1) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act “EF released a statement.
Rana Ayyub defrauded contributors by creating three online campaigns under the guise of charity and unlawfully raising Rs. 2.69 crores, according to the ED inquiry.
According to the ED, this money was instead utilised to build assets for herself rather than for the original purpose.
“In an effort to portray these monies as clean, Rana Ayyub has laundered the money he has collected from the common populace. Additionally, she got these donations from foreign nations without the government’s consent or registration needed under the 2010 Foreign Contribution Regulation Act “ED said.
Rana Ayyub started these activities “with the sole goal of defrauding the general people and obtained Proceeds of Crime in the form of Fixed Deposits and balances in bank accounts portraying them as pristine,” according to ED Investigation.
On the basis of an FIR filed on September 7 of last year by the Indirapuram Police Station in Ghaziabad under the Information Technology Amendment Act of 2008 and the Black Money Act against Rana Ayyub, the ED launched a money laundering investigation into the alleged illegal acquisition of funds from the general public in the name of charity by means of the launch of fund-raising campaigns on the crowdfunding website “Ketto.”
Additionally, it was claimed that Rana Ayyub, a journalist by trade, accepted foreign donations without first registering with the FCRA.