The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. A PMLA court on Friday granted seven-day custody of Sharma to the agency.
The ED had initiated investigation on the basis of the FIR and chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police against Sharma under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Official Secrets Act for allegedly supplying confidential and sensitive information to Chinese intelligence officials.
During the custodial interrogation, the agency is expected to uncover the alleged money trail and suspected financial transactions between Sharma and the conduits for the Chinese intelligence agencies.
“During the investigation, it was 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 India. It was further revealed that cash for remuneration of Rajeev Sharma and other unknown persons was being generated through hawala means by Mahipalpur-based shell companies that were run by Chinese nationals namely Zhang Cheng alias Suraj, Zhang Lixia alias Usha and Quing Shi along with a Nepali national Sher Singh alias Raj Bohara,” the agency said in a statement.
It further said, “Apart from cash, huge transactions were made with various Chinese companies and some other trading companies in India which are being examined. These Chinese companies were acting as a conduit for the Chinese Intelligence agencies to provide remuneration for persons like Rajeev Sharma indulging in criminal activities. Rajeev Sharma also received money through benami bank accounts in order to conceal his involvement in criminal activities.”