The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday said it has attached Rs 1.77 crore of journalist Rana Ayyub in connection with a money laundering case lodged against her for allegedly misusing funds collected in the name of help and charity through a website — ketto.com.
An ED official said Ayyub had allegedly misused the funds, and diverted them into other account for personal expenses.
ED sources said she cheated donors in a pre-planned manner.
“Funds totalling to Rs 2,69,44,680 was raised on Ketto by Rana Ayyub. These funds were transferred in the bank accounts of her sister/father. Out of this amount, Rs 72,01,786 was transferred in her own bank account; Rs 37,15,072 in her sister Iffat Shaikh’s account and Rs 1,60,27,822 in her father Mohd Ayyub Waquif’s bank account. All these funds from her sister’s and father’s account were subsequently transferred to her own account,” read an ED document accessed by IANS.
It also mentioned Rana Ayyub submitted information/documents of expense to the tune of Rs 31,16,770. However, after verification of the claimed expenses, it surfaced that the actual expense was only of Rs 17,66,970.
“Fake bills were found to have been prepared by Rana Ayyub in the name of some entities to claim expenses on relief work. Expenses made for personal travel by air were claimed as expense for relief work,” it said.
Investigations conducted by Directorate of Enforcement have made 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 utilised completely for the purpose of which the funds were raised.
Investigations disclosed that instead of utilising the funds for the relief work, Ayyub parked some of the funds by opening a separate current bank account.
She also created a Fixed Deposit of Rs 50 Lakh from the funds raised on Ketto and subsequently did not utilise them for relief work.
She deposited a total of Rs 74.50 lakh in PM Cares fund and CM Relief Fund.
“Accordingly, at the stage of 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,” the order read.
The ED official said that Rana misused the funds, and allegedly diverted the fund into other account for their personal expenses.
Earlier, on August 28, 2021, one Vikas Sankrityayan, had lodged a complaint with the Ghaziabad Police against Rana alleging that she cheated the general public in the name of charity.
Acting on his complaint, on September 7, 2021 an FIR was lodged against her at Indirapuram Police Station. She was booked under sections 403, 406, 418, 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), read with section 66D of Information Technology Act.
The funds were collected in the savings accounts of Rana, her sister and father.
Later, on the basis of this FIR, the ED also initiated a money laundering probe.
Now, the ED has attached her Rs 1.77 crore alleging that this money was part of proceeds of crime.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)