The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has decided to name Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez as an accused in a multi-crore money laundering case linked to alleged conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar and others, officials said on August 17.

The federal probe agency is expected to file a fresh (supplementary) charge sheet or prosecution complaint in this case on August 17 before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Delhi and the actor has been arraigned in it as an accused, they said.

The 36-year-old actor has been questioned multiple times by the agency in the this case, the last being in June. The actor, a Sri Lanka national, debuted in the Hindi film industry in 2009.

The ED in April provisionally attached ₹7.27 crore funds of the actor under the PMLA apart from ₹15 lakh cash as the agency called these funds as “proceeds of crime”.

“Sukesh Chandrasekhar had given various gifts worth ₹5.71 crore to Jacqueline Fernandez from the proceeds of crime generated by criminal activities including extortion.

“Chandrashekhar had put Pinky Irani, his long time associate and co-accused in this case to deliver the said gifts to her,” the ED had then said in a statement.

In addition to these gifts, it said, Mr. Chandrashekhar also gave “funds to the tune of $1,72,913 [about ₹1.3 crore as per current exchange rate] and AUD26740 [approx. ₹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 Mr. Chandrashekhar had “delivered cash to the tune of ₹15 lakh to a script writer on behalf of Fernandez as advance for writing a script of her web series project.”

The ED has alleged that Mr. Chandrashekhar used illegal money to purchase gifts for Ms. Fernandez which he had extorted by cheating high-profile people including former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh’s wife Aditi Singh.

He is alleged to have conned Ms. Aditi Singh and her sister by impersonating as the Union Home Secretary and also as the Law Secretary over phone.

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By Dipak

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