ED seizes assets of Delhi-based journalist in money laundering case: The Tribune India


New Delhi, January 15

The Law Enforcement Directorate said on Saturday it had seized a Delhi-based journalist’s residential property worth Rs 48.21 lakh as part of a money laundering investigation. related to the alleged leak and provision of sensitive information to Chinese intelligence agents.

An interim order has been issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to seize the property of freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma in the Pitampura region of the nation’s capital, ED said in a statement. .

Sharma, who was arrested by the agency in July last year, was granted bail in the case by the Delhi High Court last week.

The agency said its investigation revealed that “Sharma had provided confidential and sensitive information to Chinese intelligence officers, in exchange for compensation, thereby undermining the country’s security and national interests.”

“This remuneration of Rajeev Sharma was provided by a shell company based in Mahipalpur which was run by Chinese nationals like Zhang Cheng alias Suraj, Zhang Lixia alias Usha and Qing Shi as well as a Nepali national Sher Singh alias Raj Bohara.

“This Chinese company acted as an intermediary for Chinese intelligence agencies to pay people like Rajeev Sharma…” the ED said in the statement.

Compensation, she said, was paid in cash through carriers as well as cash deposits.

“Sharma also received money using his friend’s bank account to conceal his involvement in criminal activities. In addition to getting cash rewards, he also received in-kind rewards in the form of various paid trips abroad that were arranged by Chinese intelligence agents,” the ED alleged.

The agency’s case is based on a Delhi Police FIR filed under the Official Secrets Act and various sections of the IPC against Sharma in 2020.

The journalist was arrested by Delhi Police Special Cell on September 14, 2020 and accused of passing information on Indian army deployment and the country’s border strategy to Chinese intelligence agents.

The ED had also filed a charge sheet in the case last year.

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