New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has issued fresh summons to American millionaire Neville Roy Singham for questioning in connection with a money laundering investigation linked to online news portal NewsClick, official sources said Thursday.
The businessman, who is accused of spreading Chinese propaganda in India, is stated to be currently based in Shanghai, China.
The ED has issued fresh summons to Singham under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). This is a fresh notice issued to him after the agency got issued Letters Rogatory (LR) from a local court seeking to record his statement, the sources said.
The summons have been sent to Singham on his email id and through the Chinese government channels, after the ED routed them through the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
This is understood to be second summons issued to Singham by the ED after one was issued last year after the investigation was launched in 2021.
Singham's name hit the headlines again few months back in a New York Times article.
The Delhi Police, following this news piece and some "evidence" shared by ED, had also filed a FIR against him and the founders of NewsClick after this news report came to light.
In a statement issued to The Hindu newspaper in October, Singham had said that the language used in the FIR filed by the Special Cell of Delhi Police "strongly suggests" that the claims were "influenced by misinformation from an article published by The New York Times."
"The NYT intentionally chose not to publish all the factual rebuttals that I provided to them on July 22, 2023, prior to their publication date," Singham had charged.
He also rejected the allegation of fraudulent infusion of funds through a "complex web of several entities" as mentioned in the FIR and in the NYT article.
The New York Times report claimed that NewsClick was part of a global network that received funding from Singham, who allegedly works closely with the Chinese government media machine.
The Enforcement Directorate had first raided the premises of NewsClick in Saidulajab area of the national capital in September, 2021 on charges of money laundering.
The agency has recorded the statements of more than 25 people in this case, including that of NewsClick founder and Editor-in-chief Prabir Purkayastha.
It last year attached a flat in south Delhi's Saket worth Rs 4.52 crore, which is linked to Purkayastha apart from fixed deposits worth Rs 41 lakh as part of this investigation.
NewsClick had said the allegations being made against it "by certain political actors and sections of the media are unfounded and without basis in fact or law".