New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday said it has attached a residential property worth Rs 48.21 lakh from a Delhi-based journalist as part of its probe into a money laundering case involving allegedly providing sensitive information to Chinese intelligence officials.
The ED said in a statement that under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), an order was issued to confiscate the property of independent journalist Rajiv Sharma based in Pitampura area of Delhi. Sharma was arrested by the agency in July last year.
The Delhi High Court had granted him bail in the case last week.
The investigation revealed that Sharma had provided confidential and sensitive information to Chinese intelligence officials, in exchange for which he was being provided financial benefits through a masked company based in Mahipalpur. Enforcement Directorate (ED) informed the media.
The company was being run by a Nepali national named Sher Singh alias Raj Bohra along with Chinese nationals like Zhang Cheng alias Suraj, Zhang Lixia alias Usha and Qing Xi. The company was acting as a medium for Chinese intelligence agencies to provide financial benefits to people like Rajiv Sharma.
The central agency said Sharma also used a friend’s bank account to receive money to hide his involvement in criminal activities. Apart from providing cash, the Chinese intelligence agent also sent him abroad.
This ED case is based on the Delhi Police’s report against Sharma in the year 2020 under various sections of the Official Secrets Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The journalist was arrested by the Special Branch of Delhi Police on 14 September the same year. He is accused of informing Chinese intelligence officials about the deployment of Indian troops and the country’s border strategy.
First Published:January 15, 2022, 7:40 pm