Delhi Police busts Chinese espionage racket; arrests Journalist working as Chinese spy

Newsroom24x7 Network

New Delhi: The Delhi Police Special Cell has arrested Rajeev Sharma (61), who is a journalist and was found working for Chinese intelligence officers.

According to Sanjeev Kumar Yadav, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Cell, Delhi, during the search of Rajeev Sharma’s house in Pitampura, in the Union Capital, one Laptop, some confidential documents related to Indian Defence department and some other incriminating documents were recovered and seized.

Further, during his police custody remand, a Chinese woman Qing Shi and her Nepalese partner Sher Singh alias Raj Bohra have been also arrested. They were found supplying Sharma huge amounts of money routed through Hawala Channels for conveying sensitive information to Chinese Intelligence.

BACKGROUND

A few ago, a secret input was received by Delhi Police from an Intelligence Agency that Rajeev Sharma, resident of SG-2, St. Xavier Apartment, Pitampura, New Delhi was having links with a 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. A case (FIR no. 230/2020, under Sections 3/4/5 of Official Secrets Act, was registered on 13 September 2020 by Delhi Police Special Cell, Delhi. Sharma was arrested on 14 September and a Search Warrant was obtained for searching his residential premises.

INTERROGATION:

On interrogation, Sharma disclosed his involvement in procurement of secret and sensitive information and further passing it over to to his Chinese handlers, Michael and George, based in Kunming, China, through different digital channels. He further disclosed that he was about to send the secret documents seized by Police to his handlers. In the past also, he had sent several documents in the form of reports to his handlers and had received handsome remuneration for it.

During the period of 2010-2014, Sharma 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 Sharma 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. During, the meeting, Michael and his junior Xou asked Sharma to provide inputs on various aspects of India-China relations. Between, 2016 to 2018 Sharma was in contact with Michael and Xou. He was tasked to provide information and inputs on issues like Indian deployment on Bhutan-Sikkim-Chinatri-junction including Doklam, the pattern of India-Myanmar military co-operation, India-China boundary issue etc. Subsequently, Sharma had meetings with Michael and Xou in Laos and Maldives once each and gave briefings on the above-mentioned topics. Besides these visits, Sharma was also in contact with Michael and Xou through e-mail and social media.

In January 2019, Sharma came in contact with another Kunming based Chinese named 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 Sharma to write and inform about Dalai Lama related issues. For this he was offered 500 USD per article. George told Sharma that they will send him money through his company’s sister concern based in Mahipalpur in Delhi being operated by a Chinese lady Qing. Sharma has received more than Rs. 3 million from George in about 10 instalments from January 2019 to September 2020 for the information provided by him. Rajeev Sharma had further meetings with George in Malaysia and again in Kunming City, China.

During investigation, it is revealed that shell companies are being operated by foreign intelligence to transfer funds to Sharma. It is revealed that Chinese nationals Jhang Chang and his wife Chang-li-lia were running the companies MZ Pharmacy and MZ Malls, under fake names Suraj and Usha. They are both presently in China and on their behalf, another Chinese lady Qing Shi and one Raj Bhora, a Nepali National (both directors of MZ Pharmacy) are presently operating the business from Mahipalpur. Both, Qing Shi (age 30 yrs) and Sher Singh @ Raj Bohra (age 30yrs) have also been arrested. Further investigation with respect to the Chinese shell companies based in Mahipalpuris in progress.

Forensicanalysis of seized mobile phones and laptops is being conducted to unearth theentire network and conspiracy in this case. Identities and roles of otherforeign nationals involved in the conspiracy are also being ascertained

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