US-based Pak NGOs 'mop up' funds raised to help India in COVID-19 crisis, likely to be used to fund terror, says report
Washington [US], June 15, 2021 (ANI): United States-based Pakistan-linked charity organisations collected funds in name of helping India in the COVID-19 crisis, however, the donated millions of dollars are likely to be used for "fomenting protests and sponsoring outright terror attacks", according to a report.
In an elaborate report, DisInfo Lab uncovered the 'COVID-19 Scam 2021', which it says is "one of the worst scams in human history" in terms of the humanitarian cost as millions of dollars were stolen in the name of 'Helping India Breath'.
As India witnessed a second devastating surge in COVID-19 cases, help came from all around the world. However, some organisations use the crisis to collect funds illegitimately in the name of charity.
The DisInfo Lab exposed several charity organisations, which managed to raise funds by exploiting India's hard-earned goodwill.
These organisations have close ties with radical Islamists and terrorists' organizations and being run in cahoots with the Pakistan army.
One such Islamic organisation is the IMANA-Islamic Medical Association of North America
"Funds worth tens of crores donated by well-meaning people world over to help India in crisis - has been stolen. There is no accountability and in the present globalised world, no mechanism to ensure any accountability," said the report.
The Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) is an Illinois-based medical relief organization that was formally established as Islamic Medical Association (IMA) in 1967, and subsequently renamed IMANA.
Unlike several other organizations, IMANA was rather opaque in its recent charity drive during the Covid crisis and has provided "scanty details" about the manner it has spent crores of funds it has collected.
The current chairman of IMANA is Dr Ismail Mehr, who has been the leader of the "Help India Breathe" project.
IMANA created a buzz last month with its fundraiser. It started the #HelpIndiaBreathe campaign on Instagram on April 27, 2021, and set an initial target of 1.8 crores.
It is important to note that IMANA has no office, brand, or representative in India. However, it did not stop them from organising an aggressive fundraiser in the name of providing support to India.
According to the Disinfo Lab's report, IMANA received huge amounts in a short span and frequently revised the target amount as soon as the previous target was met.
According to DisInfo Lab's calculations based on the funds they collected in the specific time period, there was a time they were receiving donations at a speed of USD 100K per hour. The total amount, as per the calculations, can be anywhere between Rs.30 crore to Rs.158 crore. DisInfo Lab said, "Given that IMANA has almost zero transparency about the fund it collected, there is no way to ascertain the actual amount it might have received."