ED attaches Rs.1.77 crore funds of journalist Rana Ayyub for siphoning Corona relief works through crowdfunding

ED says the money that came to Rana Ayyub has a money-laundering angle

ED says the money that came to Rana Ayyub has a money-laundering angle
ED says the money that came to Rana Ayyub has a money-laundering angle

Controversial lady journalist Rana Ayyub booked in donations case

Journalist Rana Ayyub is caught siphoning funds collected through crowdfunding claiming relief works including for Corona relief works. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached funds worth over Rs.1.77 crore in connection with a money-laundering probe linked to diversion of donor funds for personal use, agency sources said on Thursday. Actually, during 2020-2021, when India was in lockdown many times, the controversial lady journalist collected around Rs.2.70 crore, and when allegations of cheating and siphoning came cleverly donated Rs.74.50 lakhs in Prime Minister Cares fund and Chief Minister Relief Fund to save her skin from the allegations.

The ED said depositing Rs.74.50 lakhs (while her total collection was Rs.2.70 crore) in PM Care Fund and CM Relief Fund was an afterthought and clever ploy to save the probe. The FIR first filed by Uttar Pradesh Police discloses that Rana Ayyub raised huge amounts running in crores via the ‘Ketto’ platform (which is an online crowdfunding platform) in three campaigns:

  • Funds for slum dwellers and farmers during April-May 2020;
  • Relief work for Assam, Bihar, and Maharashtra during June- Sept 2020;
  • Help for COVID-19 impacted people in India during May-June 2021.

“Funds totaling Rs.2,69,44,680/-were raised on Ketto by Rana Ayyub. These funds were withdrawn from the bank accounts of her sister/ father. Out of this amount, Rs.72,01,786/- was withdrawn in her own bank account, Rs.37,15,072/- was withdrawn in her sister Iffat Shaikh’s account and Rs.1,60,27,822/- was withdrawn in her father Mohd Ayyub Waquif’s bank account. All these funds from her sister’s and father’s account were subsequently transferred in her own account,” said ED. The agency issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to attach a fixed deposit and bank balances in her and her family’s name.

The money laundering case against Ayyub is based on a September 2021 FIR of Ghaziabad Police (Uttar Pradesh) related to alleged irregularities in funds obtained by her from the public for charitable purposes. FIR No. 2049/2021 dated 07.09.2021 was registered by the Indirapuram Police Station, Ghaziabad Police, U.P, against Ms. Rana Ayyub for the commission of offences under Section(s) 403/406/418/420 of IPC, 1860 and Section 66D of Information Technology Amendment Act, 2008 and Section 4 of Black Money Act alleging that she illegally acquired money from the general public in the name of charity. The FIR was registered on the basis of a complaint dated 28.08.2021 made by Sh. Vikas Sankrityayan R/o Indirapuram, Ghaziabad, U.P.

“Rana Ayyub submitted information/ documents of expenses to the tune of Rs.31,16,770/-, however after verification of the claimed expenses, it surfaced that the actual expenses were to the tune of Rs.17,66,970/-. Fake bills were found to have been prepared by Ms. Rana Ayyub in the name of some entities to claim expenses on relief work. The expenses made for personal travel by air were claimed as expenses for relief work. The investigations conducted by the Directorate of Enforcement make it abundantly clear that the funds were raised in the name of charity in a completely pre-planned and systematic manner and the funds were not utilized completely for the purpose of which the funds were raised.

Investigations disclosed that instead of utilizing the funds for the relief work, Ms. Rana Ayyub parked some of the funds by opening a separate current bank account. Ms. Rana Ayyub also created a Fixed Deposit of Rs.50 Lakh from the funds raised on Ketto and subsequently did not utilize these for relief works. She deposited a total of Rs.74.50 lakhs in the PM Cares fund and CM Relief Fund.

“Accordingly, at the stage of the investigation, the proceeds of crime are quantified as Rs.1,77,27,704/- and the interest generated upon the said FD of Rs. 50 Lakh,” said ED.

The following bank accounts operated by Rana Ayyub are attached by the agency:

  1. Saving Bank A/c No. xxxxxxxxxx5235 with HDFC Bank Ltd; Kopar Khairane Branch, Navi Mumbai IFSC- HDFC0001575. Rana Ayyub Fixed Deposit of Rs.50 Lakh which was created on 19.05.2020 and interest generated upon the said Fixed Deposit.
  2. Current Bank A/c No. xxxxxxxxx9688 with HDFC Bank Ltd; Kopar Khairane Branch, Navi Mumbai, IFSC- HDFC0001575 Rana Ayyub Available balance in the bank accounts Rs. 57,19,179/-.
  3. Saving Bank A/c No. xxxxxxxxx5235 with HDFC Bank Ltd; Kopar Khairane Branch, Navi Mumbai, IFSC- HDFC0001575. Rana Ayyub – Amounts to the tune of Rs.70,08,525/- out of the available balance in her bank account.

Rana Ayyub came to the limelight after her reports in Tehelka Magazine against the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and later all of her reports were turned out to be wrong. Then she landed as Washington Post’s Contributing Editor.

She also writes articles in New York Times, The Guardian, Atlantic, New Yorker. Many of her articles were considered as most opinionated and some were caught for plagiarism.

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  1. For all the details claimed above just last night to and enquiry by one of the news channels the lady claimed that she did not receive any notice from any agency.


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