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Chinese-paid journalist who sought to scandalize Tibetan administration, Dalai Lama re-arrested for money laundering

(TibetanReview.net, Jul04’21) – Freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma who wrote several fake, scurrilous reports on the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and the Dalai Lama in 2018 and was previously arrested by Delhi Police from his Pitampura home under the country’s Official Secrets Act on Sep 14, 2020 for passing sensitive information to Chinese intelligence agencies is back in jail after being arrested on Jul 1 under the country’s Prevention of Money Laundering Act. 

He was let out on bail on Dec 4 last year from his previous arrest as the charge-sheet could not be filed within 60 days.

A statement issued by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) says Sharma was arrested on Jul 1 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and the court had granted it a 7-day custody of him.

Probe revealed that Sharma and other unknown persons had received cash payments transferred through hawala means by New Delhi’s Mahipalpur based shell companies that were run by Chinese nationals namely Zhang Cheng alias Suraj, Zhang Lixia alias Usha and Quing Shi along with Nepali national Sher Singh alias Raj Bohara.

ED states that apart from cash, huge transactions were made with various Chinese companies and some other trading companies in India which were being examined, reported opindia.com Jul 3. These Chinese companies were acting as a conduit for the Chinese Intelligence agencies to provide remuneration for persons like Sharma engaged in espionage on behalf of China. ED has also stated that Sharma had also received money through benami (ie, proxy) bank accounts.

Sharma was stated to have come in contact with Chinese Intelligence agents in 2016, when he reportedly began working for them.

Mr Sharma, 61, a Delhi-based political commentator and strategic analyst had earlier worked with The Tribune newspaper and was also associated with the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF), a think tank whose founding director is India’s National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval. Following his arrest, a webpage linking his work to the VIF has been removed, reported thehindu.com Sep 19, 2020. Sharma had also written a weekly column for China’s hawkish international party mouthpiece Global Times from 2010 to 2014.

His fake and scurrilous writings on the CTA and the Dalai Lama were carried by the South Asian Monitor and The Quint in 2018 and included those under the titles of ‘Differences between Dalai Lama and CTA president put Tibetan politics in a tailspin’ Nov 27; The Dalai Lama has chosen his successor’ Sep 26; ‘Dalai Lama wants to return to Tibet but China no longer keen to play ball,’ Nov 14; and ‘The Dalai Lama is terminally ill, sources say,’ Jun 11.

Sharma was found to have supplied to Chinese intelligence information about India’s border strategy, army deployment, defense acquisitions, foreign policy, and information related to the Dalai Lama.

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