New Delhi: In its new twist and turns, the INR 200 cr extortion scam- involving Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez, has revealed a crucial name who was paid crores of rupees by conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar to facilitate ‘friendship’ with the Sri Lankan beauty.
Pinky Irani who is in ED’s custody, had reportedly introduced conman Chandrashekhar to the actress, as per ED officials who have now confronted her with the prime accused inside the Tihar Jail. As per reports, after seeking permission from the court, the ED officials took Pinky to Tihar Jail where she is being confronted along with Sukesh. Pinky was earlier confronted with Jacqueline, who is also under probe of the central financial probe agency.
ED learnt about Pinky’s involvement in the case after it recorded a statement of Jacqueline’s make-up artist, Shaan Muttathil, who in his statement told officials that in January 2021, he was contacted by a lady named Angel who introduced him to Sukesh as “Shekhar Ratna Vela” through video call wherein Shekhar requested him to introduce Jacqueline to him. However, Jacqueline was not interested in talking to an unknown person.
Later, the conman made a spoof call to Shan pretending to be a government official in Home Minister Amit Shah’s office and asked him to get in touch with Shekhar Ratna Vela as he was someone working with the government.
“The said call was made from the office of Home Minister Amit Shah which was a spoofed call as per investigation and made by the accused Sukesh,” the ED has said in the chargesheet.
After the call, Shan shared Sukesh’s mobile number with Jacqueline, following which they got in touch.
Thereafter, conman Sukesh called up Jacqueline from his mobile through WhatsApp and introduced himself as “Shekhar Ratna Vela” in the month of February, 2021.
According to the ED chargesheet, Sukesh Chandrashekhar introduced himself to the actress as the owner of Sun TV and that he was part of the ‘political family’ of former Tamil Nadu chief minister the late J Jayalalithaa.
The ED has alleged that Sukesh was in regular contact with Jacqueline since February 2021 till he got arrested on August 7, 2021.
During this period, Sukesh provided various gifts to Jacqueline some of them are; as many as 15 pairs of earrings, five Birkin bags, and other luxury goods from Chanel, Gucci to the actress. The fraudster also claimed that he gifted the Shri Lankan beauty Cartier bangles and rings and a bracelet by Tiffany & Co. in addition to Rolex watches. He also gifted the actor a Mini Cooper which she claimed she had returned. In addition, Mr Chandrashekhar also extended a loan of USD 150,000 to Jacqueline’s sister, who lives in the US. He also gave her a BMW X5 car and extended a loan of USD 50,000 to her brother in Australia. He arranged charter flights for her to fly within India, her hotel stay and made payments in cash to a script writer on behalf of Jacqueline. For her parents he bought a Maserati and gave her mother in Bahrain a Porsche. All these expenses and payments were made by Sukesh out of the proceeds of crime acquired through criminal activities.
“It was also on the insistence of Angel that the conversations happened and various gifts were delivered by Angel, who has been identified as Pinky, a resident of Mumbai who was purchasing and delivering gifts on behalf of Sukesh to Jacqueline. Pinky in her statement stated that she introduced Shaan, Jacqueline’s make-up artist, to Sukesh through video call and numbers were exchanged between Shaan and Sukesh and subsequently Jacqueline got in touch with Sukesh,” read the ED document.
“She stated that as per the instructions of Sukesh, she used to visit showrooms of luxury bags, clothes, shoes and used to select the items through Sukesh, who used to settle bills and, after receipt of the payment confirmation from Sukesh Chandrasekhar, she used to pick up those items and deliver to Jacqueline either herself or through her manager Prakash,” it added.