ED attaches assets worth Rs 26 cr of journalist

New Delhi, Aug 29: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday said it has attached properties worth Rs 26.65 crore of senior journalist Upenra Rai in connection with its ongoing probe into a money laundering case.

An ED official told IANS that the attached assets includes a building in south Delhi’s Greater Kailash 1 area and a flat on Hailey Road in the heart of Delhi.

The ED also attached a flat and a penthouse of Rai in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Buddha Nagar and a flat each in Gomatinagar and Gokhale Marg in Lucknow.

The agency also attached investment worth Rs 5.62 crore in bank fixed deposits and mutual funds and three luxury cars.

The ED earlier filed a charge sheet in the case alleging that Rai laundered over Rs 29.58 crore by adopting different modus operandi and was involved in extortion of the huge amount from different companies and corporate houses.

The agency alleged that Rai took undue advantage of his connections with several government officials to gain access to confidential information about the penal proceedings contemplated against various defaulters.

According to the ED, Rai entered into agreement for consultancy services and issued false invoices to give genuine and legal shape to those transactions.

He allegedly received huge amounts of money from shell companies. The individuals and shell companies existed only on paper.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in July arrested a Bureau of Civil Aviation Security official, Rahul Rathore, and the Chairman and Managing Director of aviation firm Air One Aviation Pvt Ltd, Alok Sharma, after it found out about their involvement in the commission of crime committed by Rai, currently lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail.

Rai was arrested by the CBI on May 3 for dubious transactions of over Rs 100 crore in his bank accounts during 2017-18 and for using false information to obtain access to sensitive areas through Aerodrome Entry Pass (AEP) for all airports in the country. The ED arrested him on May 8.

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