For Rs 200 Crore Scam, Conman Named Ministers, Called For 'Party Funds'

Sukesh Chandrashekhar - who allegedly cheated ex Fortis Healthcare promoters of Rs 200 crore - was first arrested in 2007, when he was 17, for cheating a businessman of Rs 1.15 crore

For Rs 200 Crore Scam, Conman Named Ministers, Called For 'Party Funds'

Sukesh Chandrashekhar first met Shivinder, Malvinder Singh in Delhi's Tihar Jail last year

New Delhi:

Delhi Police have filed a charge sheet against Sukesh Chandrashekhar and Leena Paul for allegedly cheating the family of ex Fortis Healthcare and Ranbaxy Lab promoters Shivinder and Malvinder Singh of over Rs 200 crore.

The couple - against whom there are 32 pending criminal cases - impersonated top government functionaries  and claimed they could secure bail for the brothers, who have been in Delhi's Tihar Jail since 2019.

Police have invoked anti-organised crime law MCOCA against them, two senior officials at the city's Rohini Jail who allegedly helped Sukesh, and three others who helped launder the ill-gotten gains.

"... investigation found there is an organised crime syndicate and they (Sukesh and Leena) are running (the network) ..." Delhi Police has said, referring to the two as the "masterminds".

Sukesh Chandrashekhar - the man at the heart of this syndicate - was first arrested in 2007, when he was 17. He allegedly cheated a businessman of Rs 1.15 crore.

Three years later he met Leena Paul, a small-time actor, and five years after that they were married.

"I desperately needed money to maintain a lifestyle matching Leena's desires and requirements. After the initial phase Leena also got involved and started helping," Sukesh told the cops.

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Sukesh Chandrashekhar first meet Leena Paul, a small-time actor, in 2007

Sukesh first met Shivinder Singh (and Unitech promoters Sanjay and Ajay Chandra) in Tihar Jail, where had been incarcerated till mid-2020, and it was there that the seeds of the scam were sown, and he began planning to cheat Singh's family with the promise of bail.

Sukesh Chandrashekhar then, allegedly, executed a Rs 200 crore scam with an iPhone and four apps, including WhatsApp and Telegram.

The first call was made June 15 last year to Aditi Singh, Shivinder's wife. Claiming to be Union Law Secretary Anoop Kumar, Sukesh used a high-end spoofing app to fool her into thinking the call was from a landline.

"I am calling on the instructions of the office of highest authority and have been asked to help you in getting bail for your husband," he declared, slowly reeling the unfortunate Mrs Singh into his trap.

When she was hooked, Sukesh demanded money "in the name of the party", the police said.

Then, in a more audacious move, on August 19 he used the same spoofing app to pretend to call from then Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad's home. The next day Mrs Singh got a "call" from Home Minister Amit Shah's office; "Home Minister is hearing this... behave," she was told.

Sukesh Chandrashekhar's attention to detail was impressive, police have admitted. For example, he concluded each call with Mrs Singh by saying "Jai Hind".

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Sukesh Chandrashekhar, police sources have said, is a 12th pass but is good with technology

All this from a man who a 12th pass but has a good grasp on technology, police sources have said.

Using Hushed, Sukesh also created two virtual numbers - one each for WhatsApp and Telegram. These were used to extort money from Mrs Singh and by his associates to launder the cash.

Between June 2020 and August 2021, Sukesh Chandrashekhar extorted Rs 201.75 crore, and that was where jailed Unitech promoter Sanjay Chandra comes into the picture.

Sukesh told police that Deepak Ramnani - collected the money from Mrs Singh and dragged it through a hawala network - was introduced to him by Chandra.

Ramnani hired Avtar Singh Kochar to transfer the money through 53 shell companies.

In his confession (under MCOCA) Kochar said Rs 90 to Rs 100 crore was sent abroad and between Rs 10 and Rs 12 crore were sent to Pune, Chennai, and Hyderabad.

Investigation has also revealed Sukesh Chandrashekhar scammed Sapna Godhwani, Malvinder Singh's wife, of Rs 4.5 crore using the same modus operandi.

He has told police a certain amount of the money has been invested in cryptocurrency.

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23 luxury cars belonging to Sukesh Chandrashekhar were seized by the Enforcement Directorate

Part of the rest - Rs 7.5 crore - has been invested in a farmhouse on the outskirts of Chennai, and also in 23 high-end cars. All of this has been seized by the Enforcement Directorate.

Leena Paul's role in all of this included the purchase for the spoofing app Sukesh used to extort money. Police sources have told NDTV the investigation has yet to fully uncover the extent to which Sukesh Chandrashekhar and Leena Paul used such high-end technology to carry out their crimes..

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