ED Files Charge Sheet Against Journalist Rana Ayyub

Journalist Rana Ayyub finds herself in trouble as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a charge sheet against her in connection with a money laundering probe.

NEW DELHI | Updated: 13 October, 2022 5:30 pm IST
Journalist and Author Rana Ayyub (Pic Courtesy Twitter @RanaAyyub)

Journalist Rana Ayyub finds herself in trouble as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a charge sheet against her in connection with a money laundering probe.
 
The financial probe agency filed a charge sheet against Ayyub under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in a special court in Ghaziabad. A case was registered on October 12 last year. 
 
It was alleged that Ayyub illegally acquired funds from the general public in the name of charity by launching fund-raiser campaigns on an online crowd-funding platform, ‘Ketto’. It was also alleged that Ayyub is a journalist by profession and received foreign contributions without registration under FCRA. 
 
The ED said that its investigation revealed that Ayyub launched three fundraiser campaigns on the Ketto platform starting in April 2020, and collected funds totalling to ₹2.69 crores. The money was collected in the name of raising funds for slum dwellers and farmers; relief work for Assam, Bihar and Maharashtra and helping those impacted by COVID-19 in India.
 
“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,” the ED alleged.
 
Ayyub utilised these funds to create a fixed deposit of ₹50 lakh for herself and also transferred ₹50 lakh to a new bank account. ED investigation revealed that only about ₹29 lakh was used for relief work, the ED said.
 
It also said that in order to claim more expenses towards relief work, fake bills were submitted by Ayyub. 
 
The ED had attached bank balances in the accounts of Ayyub amounting to ₹1.77 crores (including FD of ₹50 lakh) under PMLA in February this year.
 
The ED further stated that its probe revealed that Ayyub illegally raised ₹2.69 crores by launching three online campaigns in the name of charity by cheating general public donors. “These funds were not used for the intended purpose, but instead were used for the creation of assets for herself,” it said.
 
The ED alleged that Ayyub has tried to project these funds as untainted and thus has laundered the funds received from the general public. “Ayyub also received these funds from foreign countries without any approval or registration from the government, which is required under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010,” it said. 
 
An ED investigation has established that Ayyub had launched the aforesaid campaigns with the sole intention of cheating the general public and acquiring proceeds of crime in the form of FD and balances in bank accounts, projecting them as untainted.

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