Journalist with alleged Benami links to Chidambaram, taken into CBI custody over extortion and corruption charges

Upendra Rai, a journalist with allegedly Benami links to Congress leader P Chidambaram has been taken into CBI custody over charges of corruption and extortion, PTI has reported.

As per the report, Rai has been taken into custody in connection with a fresh case, where he has been accused of extorting Rs 15 crore from a Mumbai builder. The case in this connection was lodged on 5 May by Balvinder Singh Malhotra – one of the directors of White Lion Real Estate Developers. He is expected to be produced before a CBI court on Monday.

Incidentally, this isn’t the only controversy Rai has managed to notch in his career. As reported by us a couple of months back, there were claims of him being arrested by the CBI over charges of bribery, while others claimed that he was called in for questioning.

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One of the biggest allegations against him is that of him being one of the Benami’s of former finance minister P Chidambaram and owing as many as 19 residential buildings in various cities. The properties supposedly include a 30 crore bungalow in Delhi’s Greater Kailash and flats in Delhi, Mumbai and Lucknow.

It has also been alleged that he might be involved in IPL related money laundering. Further allegations include him getting paid for consultancy agreements via shell companies.

Incidentally, prior to being CEO and Editor-in-chief of Tehelka, he was associated with the Sahara Group where he was accused of threatening and blackmailing investigative officers on behalf of Sahara chief Subrata Roy.

Going by the PTI report which reported of him being taken into CBI custody, he also allegedly managed to procure an airport access pass with the help of an airline which is a violation of rules.

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