India

ED names Jacqueline Fernandez in 200-crore extortion case

Jacqueline Fernandez. File

Jacqueline Fernandez. File | Photo Credit: Vijay Soneji

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has named Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez in a supplementary chargesheet filed before a Special Court in connection with the ₹200-crore case against conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar and others.

According to the agency, Sukesh had been running a cheating and extortion racket from inside the Rohini Jail in Delhi using a mobile phone. He would allegedly make calls via a Caller ID masking App to impersonate as a senior government official to approach the potential victims.

The money laundering probe is based on a First Information Report registered by the Delhi Police following a complaint from Aditi Singh, wife of former Fortis promoter Shivinder Singh who was arrested along with his brother Malvinder Singh by Delhi’s Economic Offences Wing in a case in 2019. She alleged that Sukesh and his associates cheated her of about ₹200 crore during 2020-21 on the pretext of helping her.

During the investigation, the agency found that in February 2021, Sukesh had allegedly contacted Jacqueline Fernandez on phone - posing as a senior government official named Shekhaar Ratna Vela -- through her make-up artist Shaan Muthathil. Since then he remained in constant touch with her till he was arrested in August 2021.

As it turned out, the main accused had sent expensive gifts, including designer bags of renowned brands, diamond earrings and bracelets, to the actor and her family members, arranged charter flights for domestic travels, paid for her hotel stays and also gave ₹15 lakh in cash to a script-writer on her behalf.

Through international “hawala” operator

Based on the findings, the agency attached assets worth ₹7.27 crore of the actor in April. It alleged that Sukesh had given gifts worth ₹5.71 crore to her from the funds generated through the extortion racket. He also gave over $1.7 lakh to her sister in the United States and Australian $26,740 to her brother through an international “hawala” operator named Avtar Singh Kochhar.

In the same case, the ED had earlier filed two chargesheets. Among those arraigned were Sukesh, his wife Leena Maria Paul, Deepak, Pardeep Ramdanee, Avtar Singh, B. Mohanraj, Arun Muthu and D. Kamlesh Kothari.


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Printable version | Aug 17, 2022 11:19:29 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ed-to-name-jacqueline-fernandez-as-accused-in-conman-money-laundering-case/article65778216.ece