Not just Jacqueline Fernandez, her family too benefited from Sukesh link: ED
The ED charge sheet said Jacqueline Fernandez was aware of Sukesh Chandrasekhar’s criminal antecedents but continued to receive gifts and money from January 2021 till his arrest by the Delhi Police in July
NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has claimed in its charge sheet filed against Jacqueline Fernandez on August 17 that jailed conman Sukesh Chandrasekhar arranged for the transfer of US $1,72,913 at the actor’s request into the account of her sister, Geraldine J Walker, in the United States; Australian $ 26,470 in her brother Warren Fernandez’s account in Australia and purchased two high-end cars – Maserati and Porsche – for her parents in Bahrain, apart from various other gifts received by herself.
The federal agency said the actor was aware of Chandrasekhar’s criminal antecedents in February 2021 through articles shared by her staff but continued to receive gifts and money in cash and through banking channels from him between January and July 2021 till his arrest by the Delhi Police.
Fernandez, according to ED, cooked up a false story to wriggle out of the ongoing investigation. The agency alleged the actor and her family received proceeds of crime worth more than ₹7.12 crore between February-August, 2021 and these, apart from another ₹15 lakh cash given to a writer by Chandrasekhar on behalf of Fernandez, were attached by ED in April. The agency said the investigation pertaining to cars gifted to her parents is continuing.
Accusing her of deliberately holding back the truth till date, ED said “Jacqueline Fernandez consciously chose to overlook Chandrasekhar’s criminal past and continued to indulge in financial transactions with him.”
“Not only her but her family members and friends have benefited out of the relationship financially. Thus, it can be safely concluded that the lure of money ensured that the criminal history of person she was engaging with did not matter,” ED charge sheet said. HT has reviewed a copy of the charge sheet.
Further, ED accused Fernandez of constantly changing her version on the gifts being received by her and her relatives.
The federal agency has said that Chandrasekhar contacted Jacqueline Fernandez in early 2021 through co-accused Pinky Irani and introduced himself as a business tycoon based in South India and the owner of Sun TV.
Referring to Jacqueline’s conduct during the probe, ED said her statement was recorded on five occasions but she deliberately varied the narration of facts. It added that the 37-year-old Sri Lankan national also wiped her phone clean after learning of Chandrasekhar’s arrest.
“Accused Jacqueline Fernandez continued to receive, enjoy and possess proceeds of crime for herself and her family members. She initially didn’t admit the factum of having received huge monies and valuable gifts transferred to her parents, brother and sister in India and abroad as well which has been otherwise established during the course of the investigation,” ED added.
A Delhi court on Wednesday took cognizance of the charge sheet filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on August 17 and summoned Fernandez on September 26.
Jacqueline Fernandez hasn’t reacted to the charge sheet but she did last week reject ED’s allegations, insisting that she was conned and manipulated by Sukesh Chandrasekhar. In her response to ED notice for attachment of her properties filed through lawyer Prashant Patil, Fernandez asked ED to take a humane approach and said “what she has lost and suffered as a woman cannot be calculated in monetary terms”.
In her reply to a notice, reported by HT last week, she said: “Just because she is (a) recipient of certain gifts which were forced on her for forming a connect, can’t be used to ignore the fact which the record otherwise clearly shows that she was conned by Sukesh Chandrasekhar. The approach of ED, unfortunately, seems to be highly mechanical and motivated, hence, blinded towards the fact that respondent (Jacqueline) has lost more than what can be measured in money”.
Chandrasekhar, currently lodged in Tihar prison, gave several expensive gifts including three designer bags from Gucci and 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 other than a Mini Cooper car to Fernandez, which she said she had returned.
He was first arrested by the Delhi Police in April 2017 in the Election Commission (EC) bribery case where it was alleged that he took money from AIADMK (Amma) leader T T V Dhinakaran to bribe EC officials in connection with a dispute over the AIADMK’s “two leaves” poll symbol.
While at Tihar jail, he spoofed calls to dupe people by impersonating various senior government officers from different key departments of the Government of India.