Indian journalist arrested on spying for China

New Delhi: The Special Cell of police has arrested one journalist found working for Chinese intelligence officers.

The journalist is identified as Rajeev Sharma (61), s/o Lt Sh. Ratan Lal Sharma, a resident of Pitampura, New Delhi. One Laptop, some confidential documents related to the Indian Defence department and some other incriminating documents were recovered and seized, informed Sanjeev Kumar Yadav, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Cell, Delhi.

On a tip-off, police also arrested one Chinese lady Qing Shi and her Nepalese partner Sher Singh @ Raj Bohra, who were found supplying him huge amounts of money routed through Hawala Channels for conveying sensitive information to Chinese Intelligence.

Presently Rajeev is working as a freelance journalist; has worked for UNI, The Tribune, Free Press Journal, Sakal and various other newspapers and media organisations.

He also writes articles in the Global Times newspaper of China. According to the police, money was given to Rajiv through shell companies to provide information.

Yadav said, a few days earlier, a secret input was received from an Intelligence Agency that one Rajeev resident of – SG-2, St. Xavier Apartment, Pitampura, New Delhi is having links with Foreign Intelligence Officer and he has been receiving funds from his handler through illegal means and Western Union money transfers platform for conveying sensitive information, which concerns National Security and Foreign relations.

Later a case Vide FIR no. 230/2020, u/s 3/4/5 Official Secrets Act, was registered on 13 September by the police Special Cell, Delhi and Rajeev was arrested on 14 September, police said.

On interrogation, Rajeev admitted his involvement in the procurement of secret and sensitive information and conveying the same to his Chinese handlers, namely Michael and George, based in Kunming, China, through different digital channels, police said.

He further disclosed that he was about to send these recovered secret documents to his handlers. In the past also, he had sent several documents in the form of reports to his handlers and got a handsome remuneration for the same.

During the period of 2010-2014, he wrote a weekly column for GLOBAL TIMES, widely known as a mouthpiece of the Chinese Government.

Observing those columns, one Chinese intelligence agent named Michael from Kunming city of China contacted Rajeev through his Linkedin account and invited him to Kunming China for an interview in a Chinese Media Company.

“The entire trip was funded by Michael,” added police.

During, the meeting, Michael and his junior Xou asked Rajeev to provide inputs on various aspects of India-China relations.

Between, 2016 to 2018 Rajeev was in contact with Michael and Xou. He was tasked to provide the information/inputs on issues like Indian deployment on Bhutan-Sikkim-China tri-junction including Doklam, the pattern of India-Myanmar military co-operation, India-China boundary issue etc.

Subsequently, Rajeev had meetings with Michael and Xou in Laos and Maldives once each and gave briefings on the above-mentioned topics. Besides these visits, Rajeev was also in contact with Michael and Xou through e-mail and social media.

In January, 2019, Rajeev came in contact with another Kunming based Chinese entity George. He visited Kunming China via Kathmandu and met George.

George was introduced as a General Manager of a Chinese Media Company. During the meeting, George asked Rajeev to write/inform about Dalai Lama related issues. For this Rajeev was offered 500 USD per article.

George told Rajeev that they would send him money through his company’s sister concern based in MahipalPur, Delhi, being operated by a Chinese lady Qing.

Rajeev has received more than Rs. 30 Lacs from George in about 10 installments from January 2019 to September 2020 for the information provided by him. Rajeev had further meetings with George in Malaysia and again in Kunming City, China.

During the investigation, it is revealed that shell companies are being operated by foreign intelligence to transfer funds to Rajiv.

It is revealed that Chinese nationals namely Jhang Chang and his wife Chang-li-lia were running the companies MZ Pharmacy and MZ Malls, under fake names Suraj and Usha. Both are presently in China.

Another Chinese lady, Qing Shi and one Raj Bhora, a Nepali National (both directors of MZ Pharmacy), are presently operating the business from Mahipalpur on their behalf, said police.

Both Qing Shi (age 30 yrs) and Sher Singh @ Raj Bohra (age 30 yrs) have also been arrested. Further investigation concerning the Chinese shell companies based in Mahipalpur is in progress, he said.

Forensic analysis of seized mobile phones and laptops is being conducted to unearth the entire network and conspiracy in this case. Identities and roles of other foreign nationals involved in the conspiracy are also being ascertained.

“Further investigation is in progress,” added Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Cell, Delhi.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *