New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Saturday that it had seized a residential property worth Rs 48.21 lakh from a Delhi-based journalist under investigation 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 seize the property of independent journalist Rajiv Sharma located in the 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.
"Investigations revealed that Sharma had provided confidential and sensitive information to Chinese intelligence officials, in return for which he was being provided financial benefits through a masked company based in Mahipalpur," the Enforcement Directorate (ED) informed the media.
The company was run by a Nepali citizen named Sher Singh alias Raj Bohra along with Chinese nationals like Zhang Cheng alias Suraj, Zhang Liksia alias Usha and Qing Shi. 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 obtain money to cover up his involvement in criminal activities. Apart from providing cash, the Chinese intelligence agent also made him travel abroad.
This case of ED is based on the report of Delhi Police filed against Sharma in the year 2020 under various sections of Government Secrecy Act and Indian Penal Code (IPC). The journalist was arrested by the special branch of Delhi Police on September 14 of the same year. He is accused of informing Chinese intelligence officials about the deployment of Indian troops and the country's border strategy.