Actors Jacqueline Fernandez and Nora Fatehi, questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in the alleged multi-crore extortion racket operated by conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar, have confessed to receiving gifts worth crores from the accused, the probe agency has said in its chargesheet. Chandrashekhar’s wife, it is learnt, also played a major role as the conman lavished gifts – from an iPhone to BMW car – on the two actors.
The chargesheet, filed by the agency early this month in a Delhi court, named Chandrashekhar, his wife Leena Maria Paul and six others in it. The questioning of both the actors is significant as the agency investigates the money trail.
Both the actors have shared details of the gifts they have received from Chandrashekhar.
While Sukesh Chandrashekhar made a “spoof” call replicating the office number of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to befriend actor Jacqueline Fernandez, Nora Fatehi came in contact with the conman through his wife at a charity programme in Chennai, the agency said.
During her questioning, Nora Fatehi revealed that Sukesh Chandrashekhar had gifted her a BMW sedan. Chandrashekhar’s wife, Leena Maria Paul, also gifted her a Gucci bag and an iPhone as a “token of love” from her husband.
Ms Fernandez, who appeared before Enforcement Directorate twice this year, is learnt to have confessed to receiving a 1.5 lakh dollar loan from Chandrashekhar, along with gifts that included a horse worth ₹ 52 lakh and a Persian cat worth ₹ 9 lakh, multi stone earrings and an Hermes bracelet.
Apart from this, Ms Fernandez, it is learnt, “received” a Mini Cooper car which she later returned.
The agency said Jacqueline Fernandez’s makeup artist Shaan Muttathil was contacted by a government office and told that the actor must get in touch with Mr Shekhar as “he is an important person and would like to speak to her.”
Sukesh Chandrashekhar said that he was a big fan of the actor and that she should do films in the southern film industry and “as Sun TV they have many projects lined up”, it said.
The agency found in its probe that Chandrashekhar was in “regular contact” with Ms Fernandez since February, until he was arrested on August 7 by the Delhi Police.
Chandrashekhar and his wife are being probed by the Delhi Police as well as the Enforcement Directorate over allegations of fraud and cheating people like former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh’s wife Aditi Singh.
Investigations found that Chandrashekhar, while he was lodged in Delhi jail, ran an extortion racket using his phone.
“He (using a cellphone procured illegally in prison) with the help of technology made spoofed 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 persons, he claimed to be a government officer offering to help people for a price,” the Enforcement Directorate had claimed.