Part III – India’s Covid Scam: In the name of Charity

In its third part of investigation, Disinfolab exposed another international organisation Penny Appeal.

Following in the ‘glorious’ footsteps of Islamic Medical Council of North America (IMANA) and Muslim Aid, another charity ‘Penny Appeal’ also collected funds in the name of Covid Crisis in India and just like the brethren, it also didn’t consider it necessary to deliver something, anything, for the people in whose name they collected the funds.

However, where it was different from Muslim Aid and IMANA was that it had more elaborate efforts on deception. Penny Appeal went on to show actual ‘ground workers’ in their different ‘help-shows’ from Kashmir to Delhi to Lucknow, without having any ground presence whatsoever in India. Their theatre of ‘charity’ appeared more convincing than others, at least in the beginning.

Israel Branch

A search with ‘Penny Appeal Israel’ also didn’t produce any details of their work. Penny Appeal-Israel seeks donation in the name of Palestine, and claims to work in Gaza and Palestine from its Israeli office. However, all the ‘help’ it has claimed to have provided to Gaza (if indeed) is through other chapters of Penny Appeal.


Interesting to note that the Facebook page of Penny Appeal Australia was earlier operating as “Muslims without Borders” until 2016 and that “Muslims Without Borders” was also the former name of United Muslim Relief (UMR). It is also related to IMANA as instanced in the previous report.


While a charity/ NGO would have local branches in different countries for delivering help on the ground, these Pak-linked Islamist ‘charity’ organizations have various ‘online’ Chapters for fund collection. Despite working under the umbrella of Penny Appeal – various Penny Appeal Chapters set up COVID-19 help fundraisers from different fronts (UK, Australia, Canada & South Africa) for India.

In Pakistan, Penny Appeal works with Muslim Aid Pakistan, Islamic Relief Pakistan, and Al-Khidmat. [67 Penny Appeal Pakistan has also worked with Helping Hand for Relief & Development (HHRD) apart from Muslim Aid and Al-Khidmat Foundation as evident from the Facebook post of Muslim Aid Pakistan on 14th January 2020. [68] Both HHRD and Al Khidmat have worked with Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen as instanced in our previous reports. In 2018, Penny Appeal funded a solar powered water well in Pakistan and the organization that was conducting the project was Fast Rural Development Program (FRDP), Pakistan.

It seems that the plane that was carrying all the help for India, courtesy of these ‘charity’ organizations, went over Bermuda Triangle – just like the Muslim Aid plane!

Like their fund collections, these organizations were also opaque about the actual deliveries they made on the ground – and this opaqueness was deliberate, as there was nothing to deliver. The funniest part was the kind of excuses they employed to justify their lack of delivery – from security to Covid itself!

United Kingdom

The Penny Appeal (UK) posted pictures of the help they provided in India – but did not bother to mention the quantum of the help, its recipients, the local partners and the ground support. With a single picture, they left it to your imagination – how much help, and to who was it provided, and where indeed?

All the chapters were collecting funds separately on their platform and without any transparency. But when the time came to send the help, all these different chapters either claimed the ‘help’ together or used the same consignment to take individual credits on their social media accounts.  

Jammu & Kashmir

 Penny Appeal has also claimed charity in Kashmir on its website and in financial reports. Their help, as per their claims, has been delivered to some specific areas – such as Panama, Pulwama, and Srinagar – all in India administered Kashmir.

Penny Appeal claims to have conducted two projects in Kashmir, i.e., “Orphan Kind” & “Kashmir Thirst Relief”. And while the “Orphan kind” ostensibly was being run in India, the shreds of evidence it has provided mentioned distributing food packages [48] in “Azad Kashmir” (PoK). So, unless Penny Appeal has decided to hand over PoK to India, the claims don’t make sense. 

In short, all the chapters of Penny Appeal seek funds on various platforms separately as to pretend to work individually. Then they manage to create a theatre of donation with the help of some local contacts. These shreds of ‘evidences’ (pictures and videos) are then used by each one of them on their respective social media platforms to project the help delivered in ‘India’ without revealing any details of partner organizations in the country. They do not even provide the data of quantity and place of help administered.

Penny Appeal uses an Indian NGO – Ilm Foundation for its ‘ground help’. However, neither ILM nor Penny Appeal Shows this connection. Ilm Foundation has also a UK connection – ILM-UK, which is also collecting funds in name of helping India in Covid – and claims to have an organization in India – but doesn’t reveal Ilm-Lucknow!

These charity scams, the charity industry and the charity theatres go on to show that it is not only extensively profitable but a piece of well-oiled machinery. It also shows how every natural calamity and every conflict zone would be a gold mine to such organizations.

And while they are doing what they are doing, the bigger surprise for us has been that no international media, no investigative journalist, or no global watchdog has managed to put a finger at them. That too, when there is such an obvious pattern in their operations.

It was, therefore, no surprise to find the traces of these vulture organizations in all conflict areas, including Gaza/Palestine. The nexus is so compact, and the penetration is so deep that it needs a full investigation.

Read the third part of the investigation here.

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