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ED arrests freelance journalist in alleged Chinese espionage case

The officials in ED said that the investigation 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.

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New Delhi: Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday said that it has arrested Rajeev Sharma, a freelance journalist under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on July 1 under the provision of the Money Laundering Act in a case related to his alleged involvement in leakage and supply of sensitive information to the Chinese intelligence agency.

Sharma was produced before the court on July 2 and was sent to seven-day ED custody.

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The central financial probe agency initiated an 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, 1860 and the Official Secrets Act, 1923.

The officials in ED said that the investigation 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, run by Chinese nationals namely Zhang Cheng aka Suraj, Zhang Lixia and Quing Shi along with a Nepali national Sher Singh aka Raj Bohara.

Apart from cash, huge transactions were made with various Chinese companies and some other trading companies in India which are being examined, the ED informed in a statement today.

The probe agency has also alleged these Chinese companies were acting as a conduit for the Chinese Intelligence agencies to provide remuneration for persons like Rajeev Sharma indulged in criminal activities and charge him for getting money through benami bank accounts in order to conceal his involvement in criminal activities”, the statement reads further.

Earlier, he was arrested from his Pitampura residence on September 14, 2020 by the Delhi Police after he was allegedly found to be in possession of classified defence documents and was released on bail on December 4 last year.

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