ED records witness statement of actor Jacqueline Fernandez in money laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate has recorded the witness statement of actor Jacqueline Fernandez in a money laundering case lodged against conman Sukesh Chandrasekhar.

The Enforcement Directorate on Monday recorded the witness statement of actor Jacqueline Fernandez in connection with a money laundering case lodged against conman Sukesh Chandrasekhar.

Sources told India Today that Jacqueline Fernandez’s statement was recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) as a witness in the cheating case lodged against Sukesh Chandrasekhar.

An official confirmation by the ED is awaited. However, a security guard at the agency’s office in Delhi claimed that he saw the actor walking into the office around 10:30 am on Monday.

The development comes a week after the ED raided a bungalow in Chennai owned by conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar. The ED officials were startled at the brazen display of extravagance.

Sources said the actor is possibly a victim of Sukesh Chandrasekhar’s racket. Lodged at Delhi’s Rohini jail as an under trial, Sukesh Chandrashekhar has been accused of extorting 200 crore from a businessman over a period of one year. He also has over 20 other cases of extortion against him and operated a racket from inside his jail cell.

The ED also raided the residence of Sukesh’s associate – Leena Maria Paul, suspecting her involvement in the case. Paul, an actor, has worked in multiple movies – mostly in Malayalam. She also had a part in John Abraham-starrer Madras Cafe.

Conman’s elaborate scheme

Asked how Sukesh Chandrashekhar ran this elaborate scheme from inside a jail cell, the official said, “He started out by procuring a mobile phone and used advanced technology to make spoof calls to his victims. The unaware victims believed they were answering calls from government officials, but they were in fact speaking to the hustler who was in jail.”

The conman also recruited a few senior jail officials to ensure that his scheme did not hit any roadblocks, the official revealed.

In addition, Sukesh Chandrashekhar had also roped in a banker – Komal Poddar, Vice-President of RBL Bank – and a few others to help him move the money around, while others part of the racket were tasked with collection.

What led to downfall?

The lucrative scheme came crashing down as the ED caught up with Sukesh Chandrashekhar after receiving an anonymous tip-off. The agency soon found out that he had been amassing massive amounts of money from a businessman’s wife in exchange for “resolving” all cases against the businessman.

“He would ask the woman to bring the money to one location in Delhi – it changed every time – and then send his men to collect it from her. In the last one year, she sent him money nearly 30-35 times,” an Enforcement Directorate official said. He added that it took the agency some time to track Sukesh Chandrashekhar down since most of his masked calls were unmasked.

Once the ED found out about the conman’s accomplices, the agency raided the home of banker Komal Poddar and seized 82.5 lakh in cash and gold bars weighing two kilograms.

The Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) registered a case against Sukesh Chandrashekhar and took him into custody as evidence continued to stack up against him. The two senior officials of Rohini jail working for the conman have also been arrested, the ED said.

What ED found at conman’s grand sea-facing bungalow

ED sleuths raided the massive sea-facing bungalow owned by Sukesh Chandrashekhar in Chennai as part of the investigation. The bungalow itself is worth 10 crore.

Inside, officers were stunned to see the grandiose interiors of the bungalow, which also includes a mini-bar, movie theatre, home gym, and pool and rooftop recreational area.

ED officials also found a walk-in closet with hundreds of pairs of shoes and clothes inside the bungalow owned by conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar.

Source: India Today

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