National

ED Attaches Noida Flats, Deposits Of Journalist Upendra Rai In Money-Laundering Case

Rai, the CMD and Editor-in-Chief of Bharat Express, a Hindi news channel, refuted the charges made against him and said he is "deeply shocked and concerned" with the contents of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) press release.

Enforcement Directorate
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The Enforcement Directorate on Monday said it has attached flats in Noida and fixed and bank deposits worth Rs 2.18 crore in connection with a 2018 money-laundering case against journalist Upendra Rai and some others.

Rai, the CMD and Editor-in-Chief of Bharat Express, a Hindi news channel, refuted the charges made against him and said he is "deeply shocked and concerned" with the contents of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) press release.

A provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has been issued to attach these properties.

"The immovable properties are in the form of flats owned by accused Upendra Rai located in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, and movable properties are in the form of fixed deposits (FDs) and balance in savings account," the federal agency said in a statement.

According to the ED, the money-laundering case against Rai stems from two Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIRs.

Rai said, "I have challenged these prosecutions (of the CBI and the ED) and the allegations made therein and I am hopeful that the hon'ble courts will find no merits in these allegations" 

"There are no proceeds of crime in this instant case and attachments as well as the prosecution filed by the ED have no validity in the eyes of the law," he claimed.

The ED press release, he said, has been made only to cause prejudice to "my case and to conduct a media trial", which is unwarranted in law.

Rai also said that the flats attached in the latest order "do not belong to me or my family members".

The journalist was first arrested by the CBI and later the ED in May 2018. He subsequently got bail.

The ED investigation found that Rai, his brother Narender Rai and other associates "were involved in extortion of money from various persons/entities by threatening action from investigative agencies." 

"The money so extorted was received in cash/kind in various bank accounts in the garb of consultancy services. The total money, extorted as proceeds of crime in the case, is to the tune of Rs 52.55 crore," the agency alleged.

The agency had in 2018 attached assets worth Rs 26.65 crore in this case and filed two charge sheets that year. The total value of the assets under the current attachment is Rs 2.18 crore, the agency said.

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