The Enforcement Directorate has filed a chargesheet against journalist Rana Ayyub under the anti-money-laundering law, alleging that she utilised publicly raised funds of Rs 2.69 crore for herself and also contravened the foreign contribution law.
The federal agency filed its prosecution complaint against Ayyub before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Ghaziabad on October 12.
“Rana Ayyub launched three fundraiser charity campaigns on ‘Ketto platform’ starting from April 2020 and collected funds totalling Rs 2,69,44,680,” the ED said in a statement issued on Thursday.
The campaigns, it said, were meant to raise funds for slum dwellers and farmers; relief work for Assam, Bihar and Maharashtra, and for Covid victims. The probe found, the agency said, that the funds raised on the online platforms were received in the accounts of Ayyub’s father and sister and subsequently transferred to her personal accounts.
“Ayyub utilised these funds to create a fixed deposits of Rs 50 lakh for herself and also transferred Rs 50 lakh in a new bank account. The investigation found that only about Rs 29 lakh was used for relief work,” the ED claimed.
“In order to claim more expenses towards relief work, fake bills were submitted by Ayyub and subsequently, bank balances in the accounts of Ayyub amounting to Rs 1,77,27,704 (including FD of Rs 50 lakh) were attached under the PMLA vide a provisional attachment order dated 04.02.2022,” the ED said.
The ED alleged that Ayyub “illegally” raised the Rs 2.69 crore and “cheated” donors from the general public.