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CBI searches Teesta Setalvad’s Mumbai house

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New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday conducted searches at three locations in Mumbai, including the residence of social activist Teesta Setalvad.Teesta_Setalvad
The CBI officials conducted searches at the office of Sabrang Communications and Publishing along with the premises of Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand and associate Gulam Mohammed Peshimam.

The agency took the step after it registered a case on July 8 against Setalvad, Anand and Mohammed for criminal conspiracy and illegal acceptance of foreign contributions for their company, Sabrang Communications and Publishing Pvt. Ltd. (SCPPL).

The three have been accused of diverting foreign funds to SCPPL by violating the provision of the Foreign Contribution and Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010.

The trio has also been booked under various sections of FCRA 2010 and Protection of Civil Rights Act.

“The allegations are of criminal conspiracy for illegal acceptance of foreign contribution without registration and prior permission from the ministry of home affairs,” an official told IANS.

Anand, Setalvad and Mohammed are directors of SCPPL, based in Santa Cruz in Mumbai.

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The CBI has written to UK-based Cambridge Analytica and Global Science Research (GSR) and US-based Facebook, seeking information in connection with its probe into allegedly illegally obtaining social networking site data of Indians, sources said on Monday.

According to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sources, the agency has written to the Cambridge Analytica’s New York City office, GSR office in UK and Facebook’s US office.

The agency’s moves comes in the wake of a “Preliminary Enquiry (PE)” it registered against the firms after receiving a reference from the Centre to start a probe into the matter on August 8.

The CBI got the reference from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, in July, to investigate the role of Cambride Analytica.

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Union Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on July 26 had also told Parliament that the government has ordered the CBI to probe and find out if the British company had violated Indian laws.

Cambridge Analytica — a company owned by the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer — declared bankruptcy this year following allegations that it used personal information harvested from 87 million Facebook accounts to help Donald Trump win the 2016 US presidential election.

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The firm is accused of mining personal information without authorisation in early 2014, to build a system that could profile individual US voters, in order to target them with personalised political advertisements. (IANS)