ED registers money laundering case against journalist

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New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a money laundering case against senior journalist Upendra Rai, who was arrested last week on the charge of dubious transactions through his bank accounts, an official said on Friday.

More than three ED teams raided Rai’s residence in Greater Kailash in south Delhi and some places in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida. The agency also searched the residential premises of Rai’s alleged accomplices Rahul Sharma and Sanjay Snehi.

The ED case is based on the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) FIR filed on May 1, naming Rai, aviation firm Air One Aviation Pvt Ltd, its Chief Security Officer Prasun Roy, some unidentified public servants of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) and others.

The CBI arrested Rai on May 3 for alleged dubious transactions of over Rs 100 crore in his bank accounts during 2017-2018 and also using false information to obtain access to sensitive areas through aerodrome entry passes for all airports across the country.

A special CBI court on Wednesday sent him to judicial custody till May 23.

The CBI also said that in 2017, Rai’s bank accounts indicated credit of Rs 79 crore, with several transactions of over Rs one lakh each while in the same period the accounts reflect a debit amount of Rs 78.51 crore.

Rai is accused of purchasing a fleet of cars with the ill-gotten money. It is also learnt that he received Rs 16 crore in one year from shell companies for bribing or fixing cases in the Income Tax Department and that he received about Rs 6.5 crore from Sahara India in one year.

The CBI has claimed that Rahul Sharma of Palam in west Delhi and Sanjay Snehi of Laxmi Nagar in east Delhi assisted Rai to park the ill-gotten money.

Owner of Printlines Media Group and formerly employed with Tehelka magazine/news portal, Rai is also accused of using false information to obtain passes to access sensitive areas in airports and allegedly committed the offence in connivance with officials of Air One Aviation Pvt Ltd and some public servants of BCAS.

They also alleged that Rai had paid Rs 13,92,000 on January 2, through his account, to Airone Charters Pvt Ltd, the parent firm of Air One Aviation Pvt Ltd.



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