Friday, 17 September, 2021

Covid Aid Scam (Part III)

Muslim Aid gobbles funds

Muslim Aid gobbles funds

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  • Staff Correspondent
  • 25 August, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Muslim Aid USA also started a LaunchGood campaign on April 30 for Covid-19 relief in India, which was also posted on their Facebook page.

Simultaneously, they ran paid advertisement on Facebook seeking fund for ‘Covid help’ in India in addition to the donation options directly through their website. Through the LaunchGood front alone, the charity managed to collect US$76,886, more than their projected target of $75,000.

These funds are in addition to what they would have received through other platforms, including direct donations via their website and other donations received in cash or kind. Worth noting that LaunchGood is not only opaque about the fund collection and delivery details, it is also part of the same nexus connected to Jamaat-e-Islami.

Reinforcing the narrative

Like IMANA, Muslim Aid USA also used “Help India Breathe” to raise funds for the cause. It was a copy-paste scheme to exploit India’s goodwill. This was a clever campaign, which was not only reinforcing the crisis in India, but was to feast on earlier campaign of IMANA.

Help delivered?

The way these fund-raisers were launched without doing even the basic homework about the target destinations and local partners, it was obvious that their objective was limited to only the first part of charity – collecting funds. Hence, as expected there were hardly any updates on the ‘delivery’ front, other than sketchy generalised claims. For example, the only update Muslim Aid USA managed to provide was on May 27, 2021– A total of nine oxygen concentrators collected. There is no clarity if even this help arrived.

Like cousin IMANA, Muslim Aid provided no detail of the ultimate beneficiaries, hospitals, local partners etc.

The ultimate fake show

In the update provided by Muslim Aid USA on May 27, they claimed to have donated an ambulance to India – and two images of the ambulance were attached -- one of its exterior and another of its interior. However, observing closely it was found that these images are of two totally different ambulances.

1. The hinge in image 1 is below the light, while in the image 2 hinge is above the light. Also, the light is different in both images.

2. The interior of image 1 is small and has one compartment, while interior of image 2 is bigger and has two compartments

3. The body design of the upper left corner of the ambulance in two images is totally different.

Upon searching for the number plate of the ambulance, we found that this was a temporary number series (MP 11-TR) that was provided for ambulances donated by the PRO Jansampark Dhar (Madhya Pradesh Government).

It’s all in the name

Muslim Aid USA posted a picture of the ‘help’ provided in India on their Instagram Page on May 26, which also had a donation option. However, clicking on the “donate to fundraiser” option, a user gets redirected to Muslim Aid USA fundraiser for Gaza.

Kashmir – the wish well of fund collection

While there are no details about the actual help on ground for Covid, Muslim Aid USA has started a new campaign on Covid-19 for Jammu & Kashmir on June 17, 2021. They have launched a fundraiser for “Jammu & Azad Kashmir” at LaunchGood. As usual, the local partners and the beneficiaries of the proposed fundraiser are not mentioned in the campaign.

However, despite zero transparency and having no track-record of delivery, they have also inched their fundraise target of USD 10,000.

Sweeping it under the carpet

Starting journey in 2013, Muslim Aid USA was active until 2016. However, it went dormant between 2016 and 19, and was revived in 2019 with brand new faces on the board, before changing the status again as “inactive” until early January 2021.

It is not clear what prompted this change of guard, but surprisingly, while the organisation was dormant, the board members kept changing every year between 2016-2019 with at least one key player receiving handsome sums in ‘compensation’ for their contribution while the charity was defunct!

The constants and variables

While the internal turmoil was ongoing (and it must be big, given the sum at stake), a few members did remain common, including Wakar Uddin, who served for three years from 2015-18. Likewise, Sir Iqbal Sacranie and Salaudeen Naseerudeen served between 2015-16 and Mansoor Sakhiy remained at the front between 2017-19. A key member, Basit Khan, served as treasurer and board member in 2018 & 2019 who is also currently serving as a board member of Muslim Aid USA.

In a nutshell

A charity organisation with a convicted war criminal as trustee pops-up to collect fund in the name of helping India. Its USA front, formed in 2013, has remained dormant for several years while still shuffling its board members, some of which continue to draw hefty sums as compensation for their contributions from a charity that is defunct. It collects thousands of dollars if not hundreds of thousands in the name of Covid crisis in India but delivers nothing on the ground. To cover up its fraud, it posts fake images with scanty details of its work.