We are raising money for Niranjan Rasalingam who we believe has been wrongly convicted of credit card fraud in Myanmar (Burma).We are a group of his friends and family. Niranjan is a 30 year old accountant and UK national from Croydon in south London. He has just been sentenced to 17 years in prison in Myanmar's notorious Insein Prison. He can appeal his conviction or at least reduce his sentence to 9 years if he pays a large fine. He needs your help to do this.
Niranjan travelled to Myanmar in 2014 when he was working for a Sri Lankan travel agency, Globe Travels. He was arrested in an Indian restaurant because CCTV footage showed him withdrawing cash from an ATM from which fraudulent withdrawals had apparently been made. And that’s really it - there is no other ‘evidence’ linking him to the fraud. He had cash in his hotel room - he’d withdrawn this using pre-paid UK credit cards and needed it to rent an office space for Globe Travels.
Niranjan is being held in Yangon’s notorious Insein prison. He was in prison for over a year and a half before he was even charged and he’s described it as a living hell. He has no way to contact his family or his lawyer who, despite speaking no English, has been bravely working for free to defend Niranjan from this injustice.
He needs your help to raise funds to pay for the costs of his appeal and to meet the cost of fines of around GBP 23,000 that he is facing so that he can reduce his sentence from 17 years to 9 years.
3 Indian nationals have also been found guilty and sentenced to 9 years in prison. The main evidence against them appears to be that they were in a restaurant with Niranjan when he was arrested. The Indian government has even shown that they were not in Myanmar when the alleged frauds took place! The court has said that they, with Niranjan, we part of a criminal gang. Your funds raised will also be used to assist them.
If we can secure the release of Niranjan and the three Indians with your funds and there is any left over - we will donate it to legal aid charities operating in Myanmar.
More details can be found at the Guardian newspaper: