New Delhi–Journalist Rana Ayyub was on Tuesday stopped at Mumbai Airport when she was about to board a flight to the UK to deliver a speech at the International Centre for Journalists (ICJ), and accused the Enforcement Directorate for summoning her despite making her programme public in advance.
Ayyub alleged that the ED’s summon arrived in her inbox after she was stopped.
The ICJ came out in her support, tweeting that Ayyub was being legally harassed by Indian authorities.
“ICFJ stands with @RanaAyyub and we reiterate our demand for the Indian authorities to end their legal and digital harassment campaign against the multi-award-winning @washingtonpost journalist. #LetRanaFly #WeStandWithRana,” it tweeted.
Ayyub is facing a Prevention of Money Laundering case for allegedly misusing funds collected for charity through website ketto.com, and the ED, in February, attached Rs 1.77 crore of hers, claiming that the money was proceeds of crime.
“Funds totalling to Rs 2,69,44,680 were raised on Ketto by Rana Ayyub. These funds were withdrawn in the bank accounts of her sister/father. Out of this amount, Rs.72,01,786 was withdrawn in her own bank account, Rs 37,15,072 was withdrawn in her sister Iffat Shaikh’s account and Rs 1,60,27,822 was withdrawn in her father Mohd Ayyub Waquif’s bank account.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,” read the order accessed by IANS.
It further said that Ayyub submitted information/documents of expense to the tune of Rs 31,16,770, but after verification of the claimed expenses, it surfaced that the actual expenses was only of Rs 17,66,970.
“Fake bills were found to have been prepared by 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
The ED claimed that its investigations found that the funds were raised in the name of charity in a completely pre-planned and systematic manner but were not utilised completely for the purpose for which they were raised.
It said Ayyub parked some of the funds by opening a separate current bank account, and also created a fixed deposit of Rs 50 lakh from the funds raised on Ketto and subsequently did not utilise these for relief works.
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.
On August 28, 2021, Vikas Sankrityayan had lodged a complaint with the Ghaziabad police against Ayyub, alleging that she cheated general public in the name of charity.
Acting on his complaint, an FIR was lodged against her on September 7, 2021 under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act.
On basis of this, the ED initiated a money laundering probe against Ayyub. (IANS)