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ED summons YouTuber Elvish Yadav in money laundering case

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Lucknow: The Enforcement Directorate has summoned YouTuber Siddharth Yadav alias Elvish Yadav on July 23 for questioning in a money laundering case linked to the suspected use of snake venom as a recreational drug in parties hosted by him, official sources said on Wednesday.

The central agency had registered the case in May and pressed charges under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after taking cognisance of an FIR and a charge sheet filed against Elvish Yadav and linked persons by police in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Buddh Nagar (Noida) district.

The sources said Elvish Yadav was initially asked to appear this week before the ED at its Lucknow office but he sought deferment of the summons owing to his scheduled foreign travel and professional commitments.

He has now been asked to depose before the investigating officer of the ED on July 23, they said.

Rahul Yadav alias Rahul Fazilpuriya, a singer from Haryana allegedly linked to Elvish Yadav, was questioned by the ED this week in the said case, they said. He may be called again.

Alleged generation of proceeds of crime and the use of illicit funds for organising rave or recreational parties is under the ED’s scanner.

Elvish Yadav was arrested on March 17 by the Noida police in connection with its probe into the suspected use of snake venom as a recreational drug at parties that were allegedly hosted by him.

The controversial 26-year-old YouTuber, also the winner of reality show Bigg Boss OTT 2, was booked under various sections of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, Wildlife Protection Act and Indian Penal Code (IPC) by the Noida police.

Elvish Yadav was among the six people named in an FIR lodged at Noida’s Sector 49 police station on November 3 last year on a complaint by a representative of an NGO, People for Animals (PFA). The five other accused, all snake charmers, were arrested in November and later granted bail by a local court.

The snake charmers were arrested from a banquet hall in Noida on November 3 last year and nine snakes, including five cobras, were rescued from their possession, while 20 ml of suspected snake venom was also seized.

However, police had said Elvish Yadav was not present at the banquet hall and they were probing his role in the case.

In April, the Noida police had filed an over 1,200-page chargesheet in the case.

The charges included snake trafficking, use of psychotropic substances and organising rave parties, police had said. (PTI)

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