New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday filed chargesheet against journliast Rana Ayyub in connection with money laundering probe into alleged manipulation of publicly collected funds for her own use.
The chargesheet says that the scribe utilized publicly raised funds of Rs 2.69 crore for herself and also contravened the foreign contribution law.
The ED initiated money laundering probe based on a police complaint lodged in July 2021, which claimed that Rana Ayyub illegally acquired funds from the general public in name of charity. For drawing public funds, she had launched a fund-raise campaign on a crowd funding platform – Ketto. She was also said to be beneficiary of foreign contribution without registration under FCRA.
Rana Ayyub had launched 3 fundraiser campaigns on ‘Ketto platform’ from April 2020. The ED investigation revealed that the journalist in question illegally raised Rs 2.69 crore in name of charity by cheating public donors.
“These funds were not used for the intended purpose, instead used for creation of assets for herself. She also received these funds from foreign countries without any approval or registration from the government,” the ED said in its chargesheet.
The probe agency also said that Ayyub tried to project these funds as untainted but her ways & means of garnering public funds ‘exposes’ real intentions.
“Rana launched the campaigns with the sole intention to cheat the general public and divert the proceeds in form of FD & bank balance” it said.
How public fund was diverted for personal use
The ED claims that the funds raised via crowd funding were received in the accounts of Rana’s father & sister and it was subsequently transferred to her personal accounts. Funds to the tune of Rs 50 lakh was then converted into Fixed Deposits which was created in her name. Another Rs 50 lakh was transferred to a new bank account.
Though an amount of Rs 29 lakh was spent on relief work during Covid-19 pandemic, she bagged a major share of public money for personal use, the ED said.
Following complaints, her bank accounts along with Rs 50 lakh FD were attached by the investigative agency.