Delhi Court reserves order on remand days to journalist Rajeev Sharma in PMLA case

NEW DELHI: A Delhi Court reserved order on remand days to Rajeev Sharma, a freelance journalist. He was recently arrested by Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 on the charges of supplying confidential and sensitive information to Chinese intelligence officers, in exchange for remuneration. ED today has sought seven days of further remand of him.

ED while seeking further remand stated that unearthing the end-use of funds involved in the instant case would assist in ascertaining the exact quantum of the proceeds of crime, determining the role of various other persons and aides who facilitated the offence of money laundering in the instant case.

Further custodial interrogation of the accused is required as he is still to be confronted with the voluminous evidence on record, in order to facilitate an effective investigation of the case. During interrogation, the accused has been confronted with part evidence on the record but due to his non-cooperative and evasive attitude, confrontation on certain crucial aspects of the case still remains pending, stated the remand application.

Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana after hearing the arguments of both sides said the order will be passed sometime today.

Amish Aggarwala Advocate with Aditya Singh Jakhar and Karan Ahuja Advocates argued on behalf of Journalist Rajeev Sharma opposing the remand application of ED in the court.

The Directorate of Enforcement arrested Rajeev Sharma under the PMLA on 01.07.2021.

The ED initiated an investigation on the basis of the FIR and charge sheet filed by Delhi Police against Sharma under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and the Official Secrets Act, 1923.

Earlier, ED stated that, during the investigation, it was revealed that Sharma had supplied confidential and sensitive information to Chinese intelligence officers, in exchange for remuneration thereby compromising the security and national interests of India.

ED also stated that 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 @ Suraj, Zhang Lixia @ Usha and Quing Shi along with a Nepali national Sher Singh @ Raj Bohara. 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 who indulged in criminal activities. Rajeev Sharma also received money through bank accounts in order to conceal his involvement in criminal activities, said the ED.

Earlier Delhi Police had arrested Rajeev Sharma under various sections of the IPC and Official Secrets Acts. Later he was granted bail by the Delhi High Court.