The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth Rs 7.27 crore of Sri Lanka-origin Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez in the extortion case against conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar. Sources in the agency said that the attached assets include fixed deposits worth Rs 7.12 crore under the name of Jacqueline Fernandez.
Sources said Jacqueline Fernandez was the beneficiary of the proceeds of the extorted money and the attachment has been made under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
They said that the officials have so far come across evidence of Sukesh Chandrasekhar’s gifts worth Rs 5.71 crore given to Jacqueline Fernandez using the extorted money. Besides the gifts, he had given funds close to $ 1,73,000 and around 27,000 Australian Dollars to close family members of Jacqueline.
The ED had questioned Jacqueline Fernandez multiple times for her alleged links with Sukesh Chandrashekhar. She is, however, not an accused in the case as of now. But the investigators have not yet given her a clean chit either. The Sri Lanka-born actor has been restricted from leaving India.
Sukesh Chandrasekhar is accused of extorting Rs 215 crore from the wife of a Delhi businessman through spoof calls. While the conman was lodged in a Delhi jail, he extorted money from the victim by pretending to be an officer from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Law and the Ministry of Home Affairs. Sukesh claimed in the phone calls that he would secure bail for the victim’s husband and get their pharmaceutical business running.
Sukesh is also involved in a five-year-old cheating case involving politician TTV Dhinakaran. He was placed under arrest by the ED on 4 April in relation to the case.
Part confession by Jacqueline Fernandez
Jacqueline Fernandez had told ED officials that she was in touch with Sukesh Chandrasekhar since 2017 and that the conman had told her that he belonged to the late J Jayalalithaa’s family. “I have been speaking to Sukesh since February 2017. In August 2021, he was arrested, after which I never met him. He told me that he is the owner of Sun TV and from the political family of Jayalalithaa,” Jacqueline Fernandez told the ED.
The actress had mentioned that her sister took a loan of $ 1,50,000 from Chandrasekhar and accepted that the conman had transferred around Rs 15 lakh to her brother, who lives in Australia.
Reports also suggested that Sukesh Chandrasekhar and Jacqueline Fernandez were in a relationship and several intimate pictures of the two had been leaked online.
Confirming their romance, Chandrasekhar had released a handwritten note, which read: “As I have mentioned before, Jacqueline Fernandez and I were in a relationship. Seeing each other and the relationship was not based on any kind of monetary benefits like the way it is protected, commented and trolled in a bad light. The relationship had lots of love and respect for each other, without any expectations. I have gifted her things and done things for her family, are (sic) normal things one would do for his loved one in a relationship. It is personal, I don’t understand why it is being made such a big deal. At the same time, I would like to again (be) certain that none of it was ‘proceeds of so-called crime’. It is all from legitimate earnings and the same would be proved in (a) court of law very soon.”
The expensive gifts Jacqueline Fernandez reportedly received, included designer bags from Gucci, Chanel, two Gucci outfits for gym wear, a pair of Louis Vuitton shoes, two pairs of diamond earrings and two Hermes bracelets.
On her part, Jacqueline Fernandez had refused to comment on this controversy and shared on Instagram, “The country and its people have always given me tremendous love and respect. This includes my friends from the media, from whom I have learnt a lot. I’m currently going through a rough patch but I’m sure that my friends and fans will see me through it. It is with this trust that I would request my media friends to not circulate images of a nature that intrude my privacy and personal space. You would not do this to your own loved ones, am sure you would not do this to me either. Hoping that justice and good sense prevails (sic). Thank you.”