Funds raised in Canada transferred to AAP leader Durgesh Pathak’s account: ED sources

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Funds raised in Canada transferred to AAP leader Durgesh Pathak’s account: ED sources

New Delhi: Funds raised during an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) fund-raising event in Canada in 2016 were transferred to the account of Durgesh Pathak, a current party MLA, as per an Enforcement Directorate (ED) report, agency sources said.

The report, submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), includes evidence from e-mail conversations that indicate a direct transfer of $29,000 to Pathak and AAP member Kapil Bhardwaj through Bhagwant Toor.

Sources revealed that during a separate AAP event in Toronto on November 22, 2015, attended by Pathak, (Canadian) $15,000 were raised. “Hand-written data sheets detailing donor information and donation amounts were sent by AAP volunteers in Canada to AAP Overseas India via email.

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However, the names of these donors were not reflected in the official records provided by AAP, indicating an intentional concealment of the actual donors’ identities and manipulation of foreign funding records,” an ED source said.

The sources said that further irregularities were discovered during another Toronto event on January 30, 2016, where a total of $11,786 was claimed to have been collected. “Of this amount, $3,821 was reported as expenses for organising the event, leaving $7,955. This remaining amount was transferred to AAP India’s IDBI Bank account using the passports of 11 AAP Canada volunteers, who are Indian citizens,” the ED source said.

The agency sources alleged that despite this, the donation was claimed to be made by over 200 attendees, contradicting AAP’s assertion that foreign donations were received solely through their online portal or cheques. “The findings demonstrate that the AAP has been manipulating donor identities and records of foreign funding, violating the provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA),” an ED source said.”

The ED’s investigation, based on scrutinised emails exchanged between various AAP volunteers and functionaries, has highlighted significant discrepancies in the collection and reporting of foreign donations by AAP,” as per the agency’s report submitted to the MHA. These emails include between Aniket Saxena, the Coordinator of AAP Overseas India, and Kumar Vishwas, the then Convenor of AAP Overseas India, which revealed the direct involvement of Pathak and Bhardwaj in the fund transfers. The ED’s report further emphasises the ongoing violations and irregularities in AAP’s handling of foreign donations and raises serious concerns about the party’s adherence to FCRA regulations and election laws.

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