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ED attaches properties of journalist Rajeev Sharma in Chinese spying case

 
New Delhi, Jan 15 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday said that it has attached assets worth Rs 48.21 lakhs of journalist Rajeev Sharma, accused of spying for China, in connection with a Prevention of Money laundering case.

Sharma was held by Special Cell for allegedly spying for China in lieu of money. Later, the ED also lodged a case of money laundering on the basis of the FIR lodged by Special Cell.

The attached asset is the residential property in the name of Rajeev Sharma at Pitampura, New Delhi.

"ED initiated money laundering investigation on the basis of the FIR and charge sheet filed by Delhi Police against Rajeev Sharma under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, and the Official Secrets Act," said an ED official.

The ED's investigation under PMLA revealed that Rajeev Sharma had supplied confidential and sensitive information to Chinese Intelligence officers, in exchange for remuneration thereby compromising the security and national interests of the country.

During investigation, it was revealed that such remuneration to Rajeev Sharma was being provided by a Mahipalpur based shell company that was run by Chinese nationals namely Zhang Cheng alias Suraj, Zhang Lixia alias Usha and Qing Shi along with a Nepali national Sher Singh alias Raj Bohara.

This Chinese company was acting as a conduit for the Chinese Intelligence agencies to provide remuneration for persons like Rajeev Sharma indulged in criminal activities. The remuneration was being paid in cash through carriers as well as through cash deposits.

Sharma also received money using the bank account of his friend in order to conceal his involvement in criminal activities. In addition to obtaining remunerations in cash, he also received remuneration in kind in the form of various paid foreign trips which were arranged by the Chinese Intelligence Agents.

The probe agency had earlier filed a prosecution complaint (charge sheet) in the present case before Patiala House Courts on which the Court has taken cognisance of the matter.

A probe in the matter is underway.

--IANS
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