The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth Rs 7.27 crore of Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez in a money laundering case that involved jailed conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar, according to sources. Sources said the attached property is a fixed deposit, and the move comes following the investigation of the ‘Rs 200-crore extortion case’ being probed by the agency against conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar, who is currently lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail.
The ED estimated that Chandrasekhar had given gifts worth over Rs 5 crore to Fernandez using the extorted money as well as funds close to US dollar 173,000 and around 27,000 Australian dollars to her close family members. The action was taken months after ED confronted another arrested accused in the case, Pinky Irani with Chandrashekhar during interrogation.
Irani, who was held on December 9, had introduced Chandrashekhar to Fernandez. They were confronted in December last year. The investigators asked about their links and connection with Fernandez as well as matters related to the money laundering operations. The investigation revealed that Irani, an alleged associate of Chandrashekhar, was paid a huge amount to introduce Fernandez to Chandrasekhar.
Earlier, the ED also confronted Irani with Fernandez. The ED earlier questioned Fernandez in the money laundering case. Another actress Nora Fatehi was also questioned in connection with the same case. ED is also looking into various people who are directly or indirectly connected to this case.
Reports suggest that the ED is looking into the possibility that money was invested abroad and it was led by Chandrashekhar, who is accused in 21 cases. This case is based on an FIR filed by Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) against Chandrashekhar who is accused of cheating and extorting Aditi Singh, wife of the former promoter of Religare Enterprises Shivinder Mohan Singh, who was arrested in October 2019 in a case related to alleged misappropriation of funds at Religare Finvest Ltd.
Chandrashekhar and his associates reportedly took money from Aditi after posing as government officials and promising to get bail for her husband. Chandrashekhar reportedly persuaded Aditi to transfer money by impersonating a central government official over a spoof call while he was lodged in Rohini jail and promised to manage bail for her husband. Both Chandrashekhar and his actor wife Leena Maria Paul were arrested by the Delhi Police in September last year for their alleged role in the duping case. The Delhi Police has so far arrested 13 people in connection with the case.
The ED suspects that Chandrashekhar had extorted money from several people while he was in jail. In October last year, the ED officials had conducted raids at Chandrashekhar’s sea-facing bungalow in Chennai and had found a fleet of 16 luxury cars worth crores of rupees.
At the time of the incident, Chandrashekhar was lodged in Delhi’s Rohini jail and was running an extortion racket behind the bars. In September, the ED had arrested two aides of jailed conman against whom the Delhi Police recently invoked stringent provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
Chandrashekhar was allegedly running the cheating and extortion racket in connivance with jail officials and some associates outside.