An FIR has been registered against an alleged journalist Rana Ayyub over money laundering and fraud associated with her fundraising campaign. The FIR was filed on 7th September at Indrapuram police station in Ghaziabad in UP in response to a complaint filed by Shri Vikas Sakrityayan [ Founder] Hindu IT cell along with Shri Ramesh Solanki [Founder] Hindu IT Cell.

Vikas Pandey

The complaint mentions Rana Ayyub of Money Laundering, Cheating, Dishonest Misappropriation of Property, Criminal Breach of Trust by illegally procuring money from the general public in the name of charity. It says that Rana Ayyub appears to be a journalist by profession and was receiving foreign funds without any kind of approval certificate/registration from the government, which is needed as per the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010. Hence, she is liable for violating the provisions of FCRA, the complaint had affirmed.

The case relates to three fundraising drives Rana Ayyub had conducted on Ketto, Funds for slum dwellers and farmers, Relief work for Assam, Bihar and Maharashtra, and Help for Covid-19 affected people in India. However, apprehensions were raised on the campaigns since the commencement, as the journalist was receiving foreign donations without the mandatory FCRA approval.

Earlier Ketto had notified the contributors of the campaigns that the fundraisings by Rana Ayyub were under the scanner of scrutiny bureaus, and a large amount of money still remained unspent, which meant it didn’t reach the proposed recipients.

According to the platform, Rana Ayyub had informed them that she had received around ₹2.69 crores in the campaigns, which included ₹1.90 crores from Indian donors and $1.09 lakh in foreign donations. Out of the total ₹2.69 crores collected, she has spent around ₹1.25 crore, and she is yet to pay ₹90 lakh from the fund as taxes. This means, around ₹1.44 crore is still lying in the accounts. Out of this, ₹90 lakh is a tax liability, while the rest ₹54 lakh never reached the intended beneficiaries.

Rana Ayyub had stopped her Covid-19 fundraiser for relief work after potential illegality of it was exposed. She had also claimed that she is returning the foreign donations. But Ketto’s statement last month showed that she had not refunded any such donations from foreign countries.

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