Fundraising platform Ketto has informed that funds raised by Rana Ayyub in fundraising campaigns were not properly utilised, and parts of the money are still lying in the accounts of the campaigns. In a mail sent to donors of campaigns run by the journalist, Ketto said it has been informed by Indian law enforcement agencies that the funds raised by Rana Ayyub were not utilised for the purposes mentioned in the campaigns.
Rana Ayyub had raised funds on Ketto in three campaigns, Funds for slum dwellers and farmers, Relief work for Assam, Bihar and Maharashtra, and Help for Covid-19 impacted people in India. Doubts were already raised about the legality of the campaigns, because despite being a journalist, Ayyub was accepting foreign donations without FCRA registration, thus violating FEMA guidelines.
According to the platform, Rana Ayyub has informed them that she had received around ₹2.69 crore in the campaigns, which included ₹1.90 crore from Indian donors and $1.09 lakh in foreign donations. Out of the total ₹2.69 crore collected, she has spent on 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 tax liability, while the rest ₹54 lakh never reached the intended beneficiaries.
Ketto said they are informing the same to the donors of the campaigns because the matter has been taken up by law enforcement agencies in India. It said that it does not validate, confirm or supervise the use of funds raised through campaigns on its platform, and said donors have to contact the campaigners for details of funds used.
Rana Ayyub had ended her Covid-19 fundraiser for relief work after potential illegality of it was exposed. There were concerns that she was flouting the country’s FCRA Laws, she was using her personal bank accounts instead of running the campaign through an NGO, following which she had decided to end her fundraising campaign in May this year. She had said that she could find an FCRA registered NGO for her campaign.
While Rana Ayyub had announced that she will be refunding the foreign donations to avoid the violation of FCRA, the Ketto mail makes it clear that she didn’t refund any foreign donations. She had collected $1.09 lakh in foreign donations, and the Ketto mail does not mention any refund, which means she had lied about returning the donations.