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In the name of charity, Rs 50 lakh transferred to personal A/C: ED in chargesheet against Rana Ayyub

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New Delhi, Oct 13: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday filed a chargesheet against journalist Rana Ayyub under money laundering charges in a special court in Ghaziabad and alleged that in the name of charity, she allegedly transferred huge amounts of money to her personal account.

The case registered by the central agency alleges that she illegally acquired funds from the general public in name of charity by launching fund-raiser campaigns on an online crowdfunding platform-'Ketto'

Rana Ayyub

"The ED investigation has established that Rana Ayyub had launched the fund raising campaigns with the sole intention to cheat the general public and acquired proceeds of crime in form of fixed deposits and balances in bank accounts projecting them as untainted," ANI quoted the agency as stating in the chargesheet.

From three campaigns, she 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 help Ayyub and her team to help those impacted by COVID-19 in India. 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, PTI reported.

As per probe, the funds raised on online platforms were received in the account of Rana Ayyub's father and sister which was later transferred to her personal account.

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"The chargesheet claims that Ayyub utilized the funds to create the FD of Rs 50 lakh for herself and transferred it to new account. Approximately Rs 29 lakh was used for relief work," the ED alleged.

"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," it said. The ED alleged Ayyub "illegally" raised the Rs 2.69 crore funds and "cheated" general public donors.

"These funds were not used for the intended purpose and instead used for creation of assets for herself. Ayyub has tried to project these funds as untainted and thus has laundered the funds received from general public," the agency alleged. "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.

The investigation by ED has "established that Ms Rana Ayyub had launched the aforesaid campaigns with the sole intention to cheat the general public and acquired proceeds of crime in form of FD and balances in bank accounts projecting them as untainted", the agency said. The money laundering case against her stems from a September, 2021 FIR of Ghaziabad Police related to alleged irregularities in donor funds. Ayyub had earlier rejected these allegations saying the money laundering charges levelled against her were "preposterous and wholly mala fide".

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