NEW DELHI: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police has arrested actress Leena Maria Paul for allegedly assisting her husband Sukesh Chandrasekhar — the rich conman suspected of scamming several people of hundreds of crores of rupees — in extorting money from businessmen.
In conjunction with a similar investigation, four more people have been arrested.
Sukesh and a female acquaintance were accused of duping the wife of Shivinder Singh, a former Fortis Healthcare promoter in Delhi, under the guise of arranging his (Singh’s) release from jail. Shivinder is currently behind the bars in a corruption case.
The Enforcement Directorate previously investigated Leena Maria Paul, who worked on the Bollywood film Madras Cafe (ED).
According to sources, during the course of the inquiry, ED officials gathered proof of her active participation in Sukesh Chandrasekhar’s extortion operation. She is suspected of defrauding a number of businessmen and their families.
According to a senior police officer, the police have invoked the harsh Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime (MCOCA) Act against the accused, and additional investigation into the subject is continuing.
Sukesh Chandrasekar was originally detained in connection with the AIADMK party symbol case, in which he stole Rs 2 crore from TTV Dinakaran.
Later, he was detained in a multi-crore money laundering case by the Delhi Police Economic Offences Wing (EOW). He was accused of extorting more than Rs 200 crore from Indian businessmen. The ED was also looking into the case.
He was recently re-arrested from Tihar’s Rohini Jail by the Delhi Police Special Cell for running an extortion ring from behind the bar. Special cell sleuths also recovered two mobile phones from his cell. With his two men operating from outside he was demanding money from some businesspeople in order to settle their disagreement at the Supreme Court and High Court. He stated that he had good contacts with higher-ranking officials.
So far, 13 people have been arrested in this case, including Sukesh and the current five.
When the ED raided Sukesh Chandrasekhar’s sea-facing home in Chennai recently, they discovered over 16 expensive cars, garments, and designer wear from top international brands worth crores of dollars. The ED also established that Leena was living a luxury lifestyle on Sukesh Chandrasekhar’s ill-gotten money.