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Crowdfunding fraud accused Rana Ayyub downplays embezzled fund value as ‘small amount’, agrees to ‘ignorant’ host

Alleged journalist Rana Ayyub has once again courted controversy after she tried to downplay allegations of misusing funds, meant for Covid-19 relief work, for personal gains.

In an interview with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) Director Julie Posetti, Ayyub insinuated that ₹10-12 crores is a small sum of money that did not merit public scrutiny.

“Now there is a case of money laundering against me. I will give you a small example. The other day when I was trying to get a court verdict to come here to speak. Just look at the lawlessness. The Judge said that this is just a small amount. Even if it was 10 or 12 crores, why does it merit coming here?”, Ayyub remarked.

“You know what news channels were saying: Judge accuses Rana Ayyub of money laundering 10-12 crores”, she further continued. At that point, the host interjected, “Just for the context, we are talking about 20,000 Dollars essentially.”

Instead of bothering to correct Julie Posetti, Rana Ayyub chose to play along with that. While being aware that the audience members were not well-versed with the dollar to rupee exchange rates, she responded with ‘exact.’

Ayyub thereby gave the impression to the audience that ₹10-12 crores equaled a mere USD 20,000, a supposedly ‘small amount’ for which a journalist of her stature should not be questioned. In reality, 12 crores in Indian rupees amounts to nearly 1.6 million US dollars.

Allegations of fund embezzlement against Rana Ayyub and Delhi High Court order

On February 10, OpIndia had reported that ED seized Rs 1.77 crore in Ayyub’s and her family’s accounts under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. A few days after the expose, Ayyub alleged in a statement that she was being framed for her “journalism” and she did not misuse the money.

However, all her claims were debunked by a Twitter user Hawk Eye who was the first to share details of alleged charity fraud last year. The ED has, in its attachment order, said, “Rana Ayyub has cheated the general Public Donors in a pre-planned manner and with the intention to cheat the general public donors.”

The order emphasised that the ‘scam’ started from the time she received the funds, which she did not use for Covid-19 relief work. She instead made a fixed deposit of ₹50 lakhs and transferred the amount to the savings account of her father, and sister through net banking. You can read the details about the allegations of misuse of Covid-19 funds by clicking on the link here.

On March 29, Rana Ayyub was stopped by Indian Immigration officials from boarding a flight to London due to the pending money laundering case against her. On April 4, she was granted permission to travel abroad by the Delhi High Court with the pre-requirement that she divulges details of her travel, contacts and her place of stay.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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