India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a complaint against a journalist under the country’s AML/CFT law.
The ED had initiated the investigation against the journalist after law enforcement alleged that she illegally acquired funds from the general public under the pretext of charity by launching fund-raiser campaigns on an online crowd funding platform called ‘Ketto’. The defendant also allegedly received foreign contribution without the requisite registration.
Since April 2020, the defendant had launched three fundraiser campaigns on ‘Ketto’ to help raise funds for slum dwellers and farmers, for relief work in Assam, Bihar and Maharashtra, and for the victims of COVID-19 in India. Through these campaigns, the defendant collected funds of ₹26.94 million ($330k).
These funds were received in accounts owned by the defendant’s father and sister, and were subsequently transferred to her personal accounts. The defendant then created fixed deposits of ₹5 million ($61k) for herself and transferred another ₹5 million ($61k) in a new bank account. She only used around ₹2.9 million ($35k) for relief work. Moreover, the defendant claimed more expenses towards relief work by submitting fake bills. Thus, the ED provisionally attached the defendant’s bank balances, worth ₹17.7 million ($210k), earlier in February 2022.
Source: Enforcement Directorate, India