April 30, 2022 (New Delhi): The ED has attached assets worth Rs 7 crore of Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez under the anti-money laundering law in connection with its criminal probe against alleged conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar and others, officials said on Saturday.
Some gifts and fixed deposits are understood to have been attached by the federal probe agency after a provisional order was issued by it under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The 36-year-old actor is a Sri Lankan national and she has been questioned in this case by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) a number of times.
It is alleged that Chandrashekhar to purchase gifts for Fernandez used illegal money, extorted by cheating high-profile people including former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh’s wife Aditi Singh.
The actor told the ED, in her statement recorded in August and October last year, that she “received” gifts like three designer bags from Gucci, Chanel, two Gucci outfits for gym wear, a pair of Louis Vuitton shoes, two pairs of diamond earrings and a bracelet of multi-coloured stones and two Hermes bracelets from Chandrashekhar. She told the federal anti-money laundering agency that she returned a Mini Cooper car which she had similarly received. The agency found in its probe that Chandrashekhar was in “regular contact” with Fernandez since February till he got arrested on August 7 last year (by the Delhi Police). He was later arrested by the ED too.
In addition to these gifts, it said, Chandrashekhar also gave “funds to the tune of USD 1,72,913 (about Rs 1.3 crore as per current exchange rate) and AUD 26740 (approx. Rs 14 lakh) to the close family members of Fernandez out of the proceeds of crime through co-accused Avtar Singh Kochhar, an established and well known international hawala operator.”
The agency said its probe found that Chandrashekhar had “delivered cash to the tune of Rs 15 lakh to a script writer on behalf of Fernandez as advance for writing a script of her webseries project.”
“This cash amount has also been attached,” it said.
Investigation with regards to tracing the remaining proceeds of crime is in progress, the ED added.
By line: Divya Thearia