India has faced one of the gravest turmoil this year when COVID’s second wave struck us really hard. Amid such a gloomy situation, everyone was trying their best to put a brave fight against the menace of the COVID virus. However, we have few evil souls, who sensed this as an opportunity to dupe people to get some sort of monetary benefit.
One among such evil souls is Washington Post journalist Rana Ayyub, who is already known for her religious malice and anti-Indian stand. Rana Ayyub started a fundraising campaign using the Ketto platform, where she has raised more than 2 Crore INR, in the name of helping COVID-affected poor migrants and slum dwellers in Mumbai.
This campaign was dubious right from day one. When we checked, we found that no registered NGO is associated with this campaign, instead, it is Rana Ayyub’s personal account that is added as a beneficiary. Another important fact is that the donation receipt also says FUND TYPE=PERSONAL. We must be aware that such donation is NOT eligible for tax exemption(80G).
It was a clear-cut fraud committed by Rana Ayyub under the garb of a noble cause. There was NO accountability or records of such huge fundraising, that too in a personal account. Rana could have associated with a legit NGO or would have got registered one for herself, but she chooses to collect money in her personal account. This issue was raised in May and even we wrote an article on this issue, which can be accessed at this link.
Now, the good news is that Government’s law enforcement agencies have initiated an inquiry to unearth this scam hatched and committed by Rana Ayyub. Agencies have already contacted the Ketto management, informed them about the financial discrepancies in this donation campaign, which forced Ketto to inform all its donors about this fraud.
In an email, Ketto has informed all its donors that Indian Law enforcement agencies have informed them that the money raised in this campaign was not utilized for the purpose for which they were raised and the funds are still in the accounts of the respective campaigns.
Ketto did its own investigation and it found that out of total funds received (about 1.90 Crores INR and 1.09 Lacs USD), which is approx 2.69 Crores INR. As per Ketto’s inquiry, only a portion of this amount has been spent (about 1.25 Crores) and a certain amount (about 90 Lakhs) was paid as taxes. The balance funds are still available in the account of Rana Ayyub.
Ketto further informed the donors and said that, since the matter has been taken up by the Indian Law enforcement agencies, they are notifying the donors in good faith about the current state of their contribution, for taking such action as they deem appropriate.
It is evident that Rana Ayyub’s tax liability is Rs 90 Lakhs, and it could have gone under the wraps if this violation didn’t come up in the public domain and agencies won’t have acted on time.
The language of this email shows that government agencies have performed a higher level of scrutiny in this matter which compelled Ketto to write a clarification email putting the campaigner at stake. It is evident that Ketto wants to come clean on this issue and it will further cooperate to unearth more details.
On the other hand, it will be important to note why excuse Rana Ayyub will come up with. She is a master of playing the victim card, most of the time she brings her religion, or sometimes she plays the female victim card to gain sympathies. Well, this time it will be an interesting game to follow, as Government and Platform both are against her.