Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) once again on Wednesday for questioning in connection with an over Rs 200 crore money laundering case being probed against alleged conman Sukesh Chandrashekar. The 36-year-old actress deposed before the federal agency around 3:30 pm after skipping its summons at least three times earlier. Jacqueline had appeared before the federal agency in this case in August and had recorded her statement.
On Wednesday, her statement was recorded under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). It is understood that the agency wants to confront her with some new evidence and question her along with the main accused in the case – Chandrashekhar and his actor wife Leena Maria Paul. In this connection, some bank accounts in India and in Dubai are under the scanner of the agency. According to officials, the agency wants to understand some trail of funds and transactions that are allegedly linked to Jacqueline in this case. Sources said some funds were allegedly transferred by Chandrashekhar from accounts linked to him to those related to the family members of Jacqueline.
Jacqueline is not the only Bollywood actress who was summoned by the ED for questioning. Actress-dancer Nora Fatehi recorded her statement with the ED last week in this case. Fatehi’s representative had said that she is the victim in the case and being a witness, she is cooperating and helping officers in the investigation.
Chandrashekhar and Paul were recently arrested by the ED while being lodged in a local jail after they were taken into custody by the Delhi Police on charges of cheating some people, including some high-profile individuals like former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh’s wife Aditi Singh. In August, the ED had raided some of Chandrashekhar’s premises and seized a sea-facing bungalow in Chennai, Rs 82.5 lakh cash and over a dozen luxury cars. It had claimed in a statement that Chandrashekhar is a “known conman” and is being probed by the Delhi Police in a case of alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating and extortion to the tune of about Rs 200 crore.
“Chandrasekhar is the mastermind of this fraud. He has been part of the crime world since the age of 17. He has multiple FIRs against him and is presently lodged in Rohini jail (in connection with the Delhi Police case),” the ED had said. Despite being in the jail, Chandrashekhar “did not stop conning” people. “He (with a cellphone procured illegally in prison) with the help of technology, made spoof calls to dupe people as the numbers displayed on the called party’s phone number belonged to senior government officers. While speaking (from prison) to these people, he claimed to be a government officer offering to help people for a price,” the ED had claimed.
(With PTI inputs)