ED names Jacqueline as accused in Rs. 200cr extortion case
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has reportedly named actor Jacqueline Fernandez as an accused in the extortion case linked to conman Sukesh Chandrasekhar. The charge sheet against Fernandez in the Rs. 200cr money laundering case will be filed by the ED on Wednesday, as per reports. Reports also suggest the actor was in contact with Chandrasekhar while he was behind bars. Read on for more.
Why does this story matter?
The actor was probed by the ED several times for allegedly having links with the conman accused in the extortion case. Previously, Chandrasekhar had allegedly impersonated himself as an official from the government and extorted more than Rs. 200cr from Aditi Singh, the wife of Religare Enterprises' former promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh. From those funds, he reportedly sent Fernandez gifts worth Rs. 10cr.
Actor was aware of the extortion that was taking place?
As per the ED's supplementary charge sheet, Fernandez even had knowledge of the extortion that was being carried on by the alleged conman. Quoting sources, India Today reported that the ED found the actor to be a beneficiary of the "proceeds of the extorted money." Moreover, the agency believes Fernandez was aware that Chandrashekhar was an "extortionist."
Fernandez questioned multiple times by ED
To note, Fernandez has been questioned by the ED a number of times over her alleged links to Chandrasekhar and the money laundering case since last year. Currently, the alleged conman is lodged in Tihar Jail in New Delhi.
Fernandez claimed she 'never met' Chandrasekhar after his arrest
While reports claim Fernandez was in touch with Chandrashekhar even after he was jailed, she earlier told the ED she "never met" him after his arrest. "I have been speaking to Sukesh since February 2017. In August 2021, he was arrested, after which I never met him. He told me...he is the owner of Sun TV...from the political family of Jayalalithaa," she said.
Actor's sister took loan worth $150,000 from Chandrasekhar
Fernandez further told the ED her sister took a $150,000 loan from Chandrasekhar and confessed he transferred around $20,000 to the account of her brother, who resides in Australia. Amid the bubbling controversies, many intimate photos of the duo had surfaced online, fueling rumors about them being in a relationship. Notably, Chandrasekhar gifted Fernandez a Mini Cooper, diamond earrings, and many other expensive items.
Accused confirmed relationship with Fernandez, dismissed monetary assumptions
In February, confirming rumors about their romance in a handwritten note, Chandrasekhar said, "As I have mentioned before, Jacqueline and I were in a relationship." He also stated their relationship was "not based on any kind of monetary benefits." He added that the gifts and things he did for Fernandez's family were "normal" and that "none of it was 'proceeds of so called crime.'"
Actor was apparently unaware of being a beneficiary
In April, the ED attached Fernandez's assets worth Rs. 7.27cr under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Following the charge sheet, her legal team is expected to counter the charges, stating she wasn't aware of being a beneficiary of extortion money. Meanwhile, Chandrasekhar is being investigated in over 32 cases by several agencies, including the Central Bureau of Investigation, ED, and Income Tax Department.