News Karnataka
Thursday, April 25 2024

Upendra Rai’s Properties Attached in Money Laundering Case

Upendra Rai
Photo Credit : News Karnataka

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

The chief medical director (CMD) and editor-in-chief of the Hindi news channel Bharat Express, Mr. Rai, denied the allegations made against him and expressed his “deep shock and concern” over the information contained in the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) press release.

To attach these properties, a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has been issued.

“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.

The two Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) FIRs are the source of the money laundering case against Mr. Rai, according to the ED.

Mr. 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.

The apartments attached in the latest order, according to Mr. Rai, “do not belong to me or my family members.”

In May 2018, the journalist first was taken into custody by the CBI, and then by the ED. He subsequently got bail.

The investigation conducted by the Enforcement Department found that Mr. Rai, his brother, Narender Rai, and additional 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 agency claimed that a total of ₹ 52.55 crore had been extorted as proceeds of crime in this case.

In 2018, the agency filed two charge sheets and attached assets totaling ₹ 26.65 crore in this case. According to the agency, the assets covered by the current attachment are valued at ₹ 2.18 crore in total.

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