Hyderabad: The sleuths of Enforcement Directorate have moved the court and filed a prosecution complaint against Senior Journalist Rana Ayyub under Prevention of Money Laundering. Investigation by ED revealed that Ms. Rana Ayyub illegally raised Rs. 2.69 Crore by launching three online campaigns in the name of charity by cheating the general public donors. These funds were not used for the intended purpose, instead used for creation of assets for herself.
The prosecution plea comes after ED seized cash and froze Ayyub's bank account. The investigation under money laundering was taken up based on an FIR registered by the Indirapuram Police Station, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.
What is Crime?
Rana Ayyub launched 3 fundraiser campaigns on 'Ketto platform' starting from April 2020, and collected funds totaling to Rs. 2,69,44,680. The funding raising campaign was named as 1. Help in raising funds for slum dwellers & farmers. 2.Relief work for Assam, Bihar and Maharashtra and 3. Help Rana Ayyub and her team to help those impacted by Covid19 in India
It is alleged that Rana Ayyub illegally acquired funds from general public in the name of charity by launching fund-raiser campaigns on an online crowdfunding platform-'Ketto'. It was also alleged that Rana Ayyub received foreign contributions without registration under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.
Investigation by ED revealed that the funds raised on the online platforms were received in the accounts of her father and sister and subsequently transferred to her personal accounts. "Ms. Rana Ayyub utilized these funds to create a fixed deposits of Rs. 50 lakhs for herself and also transferred Rs. 50 Lakhs in a new bank account. Probe found that only approx. Rs. 29 lakhs was used for relief work. In order to claim more expenses towards relief work, fake bills were submitted by Ms Rana Ayyub" ED officials said.
As part of the investigation, ED seized Rs.1,77,27,704/- (including FD of Rs. 50 Lakh). "Ms Rana Ayyub has tried to project these funds as untainted and thus has laundered the funds received from the general public. Ms Rana Ayyub also received these funds from foreign countries without any approval or registration from the government which is required under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010" ED sleuths added. .