Conman’s wife held in multi-crore fraud case

Conman’s wife held in multi-crore fraud case

The Delhi Police on Sunday said they have arrested actress Leena Maria Paul on the alleged charges of helping her husband, Sukesh Chandrashekhar — an alleged conman, and an accused in 21 cases including the Election Commission bribery case — pull off a multi-crore cheating and extortion racket that was being run from inside the Tihar Jail prison complex.

Paul was arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) on Sunday, a day after a Delhi court sent Chandrashekhar to the agency’s custody in connection with the cheating and extortion case. The Delhi Police recently invoked stringent provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against Chandrashekhar and others. Paul is the ninth person to be arrested in the case that was registered on the complaint of Aditi Singh, wife of jailed businessman Shivinder Mohan Singh, former promoter of Religare Enterprises.

Shivinder Singh was arrested in October 2019 in a fraud case pertaining to alleged misappropriation of funds at Religare Finvest Ltd (RFL). His brother Malvinder Singh was also arrested in the case. Chandrashekhar and his associates allegedly duped Malvinder’s spouse as well of several crores of rupees in the name of helping her husband get bail in the case. It was not immediately confirmed if a separate case was registered in the EOW on the complaint of Malvinder’s wife.

“We had asked Paul to join the investigation at our EOW office. She arrived on Sunday. We arrested her after the questioning. She will be produced before the concerned court on Monday. Her police custody will be sought for interrogating her further in the case and confronting her with her husband and other arrested persons,” said a senior EOW officer, who asked not to be named.

According to the officer, like Chandrashekhar, his wife has also been booked under the MCOCA, since Aditi identified a woman’s voice during the telephonic conversations in which Chandrashekhar posed as an official from ministry of law and offered to bail her husband out. Paul was earlier interrogated on several occasions by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that is also looking into the cheating matter.

A model-turned-Malayalam actress, Paul featured in Bollywood movie Madras Café that was released in 2013, the year she was arrested in a bank fraud case. She has also worked in Tamil and Malayalam movies. She was arrested by the Mumbai Police in 2015 along with Chandrashekhar and at least four others for allegedly duping several investors through money circulation schemes.

Police said Chandrashekar, who planned the cheating and extortion racket from jail, was earlier arrested in 2017 by Delhi police for duping an AIADMK leader by taking 2 crore on the pretext of helping the party retain its two leaves symbol by bribing Election Commission officials.

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