why Jacqueline Fernandez is accused in a money laundering case
Since being named as a witness in an investigation into the crimes of Indian con man Sukesh Chandrasekhar in August last year, Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Things came to a head in December when the actress was prevented from boarding a plane at Mumbai airport by India’s Law Enforcement Branch, which investigates financial crimes.
Fernandez, who has been questioned by the agency several times since, was named a co-defendant in a 2 billion rupiah money laundering case against Chandrasekhar on Wednesday. This is just one of many crimes that Chandrasekhar is accused of committing and it adds to an extortion scam orchestrated by him.
The money was laundered to various sources, many of which allegedly benefited Fernandez, the Directorate of Law Enforcement said in their charge.
Chandrasekhar, who is married to South Indian actress Leena Maria Paul, reportedly had a relationship with Fernandez, but the actress’ team earlier denied it.
“Jacqueline categorically denies the alleged defamatory statements made about the relationship with the couple involved,” Fernandez’s team said in October last year.
But in January, after intimate photos of Chandrasekhar and Fernandez leaked onto the internet, the actress was forced to come out with a statement, pleading with the media not to invade her privacy.
“The country and its people have always given me so much love and respect,” Fernandez, who is from Sri Lanka, said on Instagram. “That includes my friends in the media, who I learned a lot from. I’m going through a tough time right now but I’m sure my friends and fans will support me.
“It is with this confidence that I would ask my friends in the media not to broadcast images that are likely to disturb [on] my privacy and personal space. You wouldn’t do that to your loved ones, I’m sure you wouldn’t do that to me either.”
Chandrasekhar also addressed the leak, calling out the media’s defamation of Fernandez. In a note said to have been written by him from prison and seen by India timethe scammer confirmed his relationship with Fernandez but absolved him of any crime.
“Jacqueline and I were a couple. The relationship was not based on monetary benefits like how she is projected, commented on and trolled in a bad light. The relationship had a lot of love and respect for each other. each other, without any expectation,” read the note. “I’ve given her things and done things for her family, [which] are normal things one would do for their loved one in a relationship. It’s personal, I don’t understand why we make such a big deal out of it.”
Transcripts of Fernandez’s interrogation by management, released by NDTV on Wednesday, show the extent of their relationship, which involved lavish gifts and large sums of money.
According to the transcript, Chandrasekhar and Fernandez met in February last year, while Chandrasekhar was out on bail posing as the son of a television network owner. Over the next few months, he bought Fernandez “Gucci, Chanel, Saint Laurent and Dior bags; Louis Vuitton and Louboutin shoes, Gucci outfits, perfumes, four cats, a Mini Cooper car, two diamond earrings and a diamond bracelet.”
Chandrasekhar also transferred $150,000 to the bank account of Fernandez’s sister, Geraldine, who lives in the United States, and 1 million rupees ($12,600) to her brother’s account in Australia and another 1 million rupees on Fernandez’s account.
According to the management’s indictment, which called the gifts “proceeds of crime”, Fernandez’s gifts also included a horse worth 5 million rupees ($63,000) and a Persian cat from worth 900,000 rupees ($11,300).
In total, the actress received gifts worth more than 70 million rupees ($880,000), in addition to cash payments, the agency said.
The Delhi High Court is due to hear the case involving Fernandez on Wednesday, August 31.
Who is Jacqueline Fernandez?
Born in Bahrain to a Sri Lankan father and a Malaysian mother, Fernandez, 37, began her career as a model, after winning the crown of Miss Universe Sri Lanka in 2006. In 2009, during a trip from modeling in India, she pocketed a role in the film Aladdin (2009), which launched her career in Bollywood.
Although not widely known for her acting talent, Fernandez’s beauty and on-screen personality have seen her appear in more than 25 films since, including a number of blockbusters. She was most recently seen in the South Indian film Vikrant Ronawhich was released last month.
Who is Sukesh Chandrasekhar?
Currently incarcerated on an ongoing 2 billion rupiah ($25 million) extortion case, Chandrasekhar faces 15 other charges, according to News18, for crimes ranging from extortion to fraud. Claiming to have close ties to the rich and powerful, he allegedly duped more than 100 people and deceived them out of more than 7 billion rupees ($88 million).
The money laundering case, which involves Fernandez, is linked to the $2 billion extortion case. It was allegedly committed while Chandrasekhar was imprisoned in India’s notorious Tihar prison.
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Updated: August 18, 2022, 12:14 p.m.