NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has placed jailed conman Sukesh Chandrashekar and his actor wife Leena Maria Paul under arrest in connection with a money-laundering investigation against them, official sources said on Saturday.
The couple is already lodged in jail after being arrested by the Delhi Police on charges of cheating some people, including some high-profile individuals, and committing fraud.
The ED placed them under arrest under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and is expected to produce them before a local court seeking remand.
It had recently arrested two alleged aides of Chandrashekhar in this case.
In August, the ED had raided some of Chandrashekhar’s premises and seized a sea-facing bungalow in Chennai, Rs 82.5 lakh in cash and over a dozen luxurious cars.
The probe agency 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 jail, Chandrashekhar “did not stop conning” people, it claimed.
“He (with a cellphone procured illegally from within the 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 the prison) to these persons, he claimed to be a government officer offering to help people for a price,” the ED had claimed.
It had also recorded the statement of actor Jacqueline Fernandez in this case.