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ED reports AAP received ?7 crore in foreign funding, violated FCRA

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has informed the Union Home Ministry that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) allegedly received over ?7 crore in foreign funds, violating the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), according to official sources on Monday. The Home Ministry was initially notified of these violations in August 2023, and the ED recently provided additional inputs on the case. The AAP has dismissed these allegations, claiming them to be part of a political conspiracy aimed at discrediting the party. Delhi minister Atishi accused the BJP of targeting AAP out of fear of losing seats in Punjab and Delhi, and emphasized that AAP had previously clarified these matters to various agencies.

Sources indicate that the FCRA violations came to light during an investigation into an international drug cartel in Fazilka district, Punjab, involved in smuggling heroin from Pakistan. Former Punjab AAP MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira, who was later arrested and joined the Congress, was implicated after the ED found documents detailing foreign donations. The investigation revealed irregularities in the collection of foreign funds by AAP and implicated leaders, including AAP MLA Durgesh Pathak, in siphoning off funds from a 2016 fundraising event in Canada. The ED uncovered incriminating emails exchanged between AAP volunteers and functionaries, which included details about fundraising campaigns in the US and Canada, and efforts to conceal donor identities to bypass FCRA restrictions.

The ED’s findings suggest that AAP received approximately ?7.08 crore in overseas donations, allegedly manipulating donor identities and nationalities in their financial records. The ED shared comprehensive information with the Home Ministry, including details about the donors, donation amounts, and related transactions. The investigation also revealed that AAP established a body, AAP Overseas India, with volunteers in countries like the USA, Canada, and Australia, to mobilize foreign funds for AAP India. In 2016, these volunteers were given a target to raise ?50 crore in overseas donations.


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