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Arrested journalist passed on secrets to Chinese intel: Cops

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: September 19, 2020 20:13 IST
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The Delhi Police on Saturday said arrested freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma was allegedly passing sensitive information about India's border strategy and Army's deployment and procurement to Chinese intelligence agencies.

 

IMAGE: Rajeev Sharma. Photograph: ANI

At a press conference, Special Cell DCP Sanjeev Kumar Yadav said that police are investigating what information Sharma had allegedly passed on to Chinese intelligence officers through his social media accounts and email ID.

Based on Sharma's statement during interrogation, a Chinese woman and her Nepalese associate were arrested on Saturday morning.

"Both the Chinese woman and her associate were directors of shell companies in Delhi's Mahipalpur area and they would export medicines to China and in return, would get huge money which they gave to their agents here," Yadav said.

Sharma was allegedly contacted by Chinese intelligence officer Michael in 2016 and the scribe allegedly shared sensitive information with him till 2018, the DCP said.

He came in contact with Michael through a social media platform and later, also visited China where lucrative offers were made, the police officer said, adding Sharma allegedly started giving sensitive defence information to Chinese intelligence.

Michael had also borne all expenses on Sharma's visit to China, police claimed.

IMAGE: A Chinese woman who has been arrested for allegedly paying huge amounts of money to Sharma. Photograph: ANI

"In 2019, Sharma came in contact with another Chinese intelligence officer George and he was continuing to share Indian defence-related information," Yadav claimed.

According to the police officer, Sharma has been in journalism for 40 years and since 2010, he was working freelance.

He received Rs 40-45 lakh in around one-and-a-half years and was getting USD 1,000 for each information, police claimed.

Sharma was writing for China's Global Times newspaper and some Indian media organisations, Yadav said, adding that he had previously worked with the United News of India, The Tribune, Hindustan Times and The Times of India.

During the press conference, police said that as Sharma had an accreditation card of Press Information Bureau (PIB), he had easy access to ministries.

"Sharma was continuously giving information to Chinese intelligence about India-China border dispute, current border problem with China, Army's deployment and procurement, and Indian government's border strategy," Yadav said.

Asked what secret information Sharma shared, the DCP said, "We are accessing his social media accounts and email ID through other agencies to find what information he has shared with Chinese intelligence."

On being asked whether any officer of any ministry is involved, Yadav said that after accessing his social media accounts and email ID, it can be ascertained from where secrets documents have been leaked.

"When Sharma was arrested on September 14 by the Special Cell based on Indian intelligence inputs, police seized some defence classified documents from house," he said.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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