The federal agency filed the prosecution complaint against Rana Ayyub in a special court under the Money Laundering Prevention Act (PMLA) in Ghaziabad on October 12.
“Rana Ayyub launched three charity fundraising campaigns on the Ketto platform starting in April 2020 and raised funds totaling Rs 269,44680,” the department said in a statement on Thursday.
The investigative agency said the journalist was also alleged to have received a foreign contribution without being registered under the FCRA.
It raised funds in the name of helping slum dwellers and farmers, relief work in Assam, Bihar and Maharashtra and helping those affected by Covid-19 in India.
The Central Agency’s investigation revealed that the money collected on the electronic platforms was received in the accounts of her father and sister and then transferred to her personal accounts. Rana Ayyub used this money to create a fixed deposit of Rs 50,000 for herself and also transferred Rs 50,000 into a new bank account.
ED investigation revealed that only about Rs 29 was used for relief work.
“In order to claim more expenditures for relief work, Rana Ayyub submitted false invoices, after which, bank balances were attached to Ayub’s accounts of Rs 27.77,704 (including FD of Rs 50 lakh) under PMLA. Provisional attachment order dated 04.02 2022″.
Subsequently, bank balances in Rana Ayoub’s accounts amounting to Rs 1.77 crore including FD of Rs 50,000 were attached.
The ED alleged that Rana collected Rs 2.69 crore “illegally” and “scammed” donors from the general public.
“The ED investigation further revealed that Rana Ayyub illegally collected Rs 2.69 crore by launching three online campaigns in the name of a charity by generally deceiving donors.”
“This money was not used for its intended purpose, but was instead used to create the assets for itself. The investigative agency said that Rana Ayyub tried to show this money as uncontaminated and thus laundered the money received from the general public.
She added that Ayoub also received these funds from foreign countries without any approval or registration from the government which is required under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act 2010.
The Central Agency said that the investigation proved that Rana Ayoub launched the aforementioned campaigns with the sole aim of deceiving the public and obtained proceeds of crime in the form of FDs and balances in bank accounts that appear to be uncontaminated.