Wed, 17 Aug 2022

New Delhi [India], June 27 (ANI): The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday questioned Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez in connection with a money laundering case that involved jailed conman Sukesh Chandrasekhar, sources informed.

Fernandez appeared before the ED headquarters, following the summons of a federal agency to record her statement in the case.

The move came nearly two months after the ED attached assets worth Rs 7.27 crore of Fernandez in April end in the case registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.

Investigation with regards to the tracing of proceeds of crime is currently being progressed, as Fernandez has been questioned in the case earlier too.

ED is looking at 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 conman Chandrasekhar, who is accused in 21 cases.

This ED case is based on an FIR filed by the Delhi Police's Economic Offences Wing (EOW) against Chandrasekhar, who was contacting people by spoofing calls to dupe them as the numbers reflecting on their phones seemed to be from government officers and he claimed to be a government officer offering help people for a price.

Adopting this modus operandi, ED has said, Chandrasekhar contacted Aditi Singh, wife of the former promoter of Religare Enterprises Shivinder Mohan Singh, by impersonating himself as Union Home Secretary, Union Law Secretary, the officer from the Prime Minister's Office and junior officials and extorted more than Rs 200 crore from her over a period of one year on the pretext of contribution to party funds.

Shivinder Mohan Singh was arrested in October 2019 in a case related to the 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 2021 for their alleged role in a duping case.

ED investigation has also revealed that Chandrasekhar was running his illegal extortion business from Central Jail, Delhi in connivance with the Jail officials.

Earlier, the ED had seized Chandrasekhar's sea-facing bungalow in Chennai, 26 cars, Indian currency, and valuables worth Rs 45 crore during various raids in the case.

In this case, Chandrasekhar and eight other persons including his wife Leena Maria Paul were arrested under the PMLA. Subsequently, the prosecution's complaint was filed before a special court against all the nine accused.

During the investigation, it was revealed that Chandrasekhar had given various gifts worth Rs 5.71 crore to Fernandez from the proceeds of crime generated by criminal activities including extortion. Chandrasekhar had put Pinky Irani, his long-time associate and co-accused in this case to deliver these gifts to Fernandez.

The ED said, in addition to these gifts Chandrasekhar had also given funds to the tune of US Dollar 1,72,913 and 26,740 Australian dollars to the close family members of Fernandez out of the proceeds of crime through co-accused Avtar Singh Kochhar, an established and well-known international hawala operator.

Chandrasekhar had also delivered cash to the tune of Rs 15 lakhs to a scriptwriter on behalf of Fernandez as an advance for writing a script for her web series project. This cash amount has also been attached by the ED.

Another actress, Nora Fatehi was also questioned by the ED in connection with the same case. (ANI)

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