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Updated on: Friday, December 17, 2021, 11:38 AM IST

How 'conman' Sukesh Chandrashekhar extracted over Rs 200 crore from billionaire's wife from jail

He had spoofed the landline numbers of the Ministry to make the victim believe that the phone was received from the Ministry.
Jacqueline Fernandes with Sukesh Chandrashekhar  |

Jacqueline Fernandes with Sukesh Chandrashekhar |

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The Delhi Police's Economic Offence Wing in August earlier this year had registered a case after Aditi Singh, wife of former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Singh, alleged that she was cheated of Rs 200 crore for securing bail of her husband by a caller, who had introduced himself as the officer from the Union Ministry of Law.

In the complaint it was mentioned that the caller demanded money for getting the work done and conveyed the modalities regarding delivery of money to Aditi.

During the police interrogation, it was revealed that Sukesh Chandrashekar was running an extortion racket by using mobile phones from inside the jail. He had spoofed the landline numbers of the Ministry to make the victim believe that the phone was received from the Ministry. He was however, arrested and mobile phones used for the crime were recovered.

Tapes Reveal How Conman scammed Tycoon's Family

While the former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Singh was in jail, his wife Aditi spent hours on the phone discussing payments to secure bail for him. She believed that she was talking to senior government officials, including the Home Secretary of India and asked for a meeting with the Home Minister. She was told it would take place in due time if she "co-operates." She discussed money that was paid without the promised outcome. She talked of money given by her to "a party fund."

It took months for her to realize that her negotiations were with an impersonator and that she has been scammed for crores. After being alerted by the Enforcement Directorate in July, Aditi started recording the conversations. She then handed over the tapes to the Enforcement Directorate and registered a case with the Delhi Police alleging extortion and cheating amounting up to Rs. 200 crores.

The 84 recorded tapes have been submitted by the Enforcement Directorate to a Delhi court to help nail Sukesh Chandrashekhar, who has been in jail since 2017.

Shivinder Singh was arrested in 2019 on charges of money laundering.

No government officer impersonated by Sukesh Chandrashekhar has registers a police complaint. Because no part of the 200 crores was paid to a government official, there is no 'bribe' involved, reports NDTV.

Sukesh Chandrashekhar faked some conversations with Aditi identifying himself as Ajay Bhalla, the top bureaucrat in the Home Ministry; as Anoop Kumar, the country's Law Secretary; and as 'Abhinav', a junior Law Ministry officer, who was more forthright than the others in discussing the cash payments needed.

The mobile phones of Sukesh Chandrashekhar and Aditi Singh had been tapped for different cases connected to them. Their negotiations were spread over 11 months; the later exchanges were recorded by Aditi Singh, as per the investigators. Her sister, Arundhati Khanna, is also on tape, telling him how her family is liquidating the assets to arrange for payments.

Recording submitted by Enforcement Directorate

'Conman' Sukesh Chandrashekhar, faking different identities, refers to bail hearings in Supreme Court and demands cash before them. Aditi Singh's sister, Arundhati, shows her discomfort with this direct reference to the court proceedings, stating: "So now if you put so much pressure on me brother I can't work. I've told you this before. And before also it's been done. It's only bought trouble, trouble and more trouble. And we don't know what you're using the money for. I've never asked you, I've never been told. I don't want to know. Because we were giving it for a party fund. We are giving a donation. What you use the donation for? Whether you use for elections or whether you use for putting in Ganga or whether you use it for planting trees - upto you. We don't know so we don't ask."

In one conversation, participating from jail, Shivinder Singh requests for a meeting between the Law Secretary and his wife. Aditi Singh is also assured of this meeting by 'Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla'. He says he has been "instructed personally by Home Minister Mr Amit Shah" to call her. He further says government officers "will get in touch with you to see your husband is released" but this is depend on her continued "cooperation" which he said has been dwindling. She promises to cooperate and asks for a meeting with him. 'Ajay Bhalla' says this will take place at the right time, same for a meeting with the Home Minister.

In August, Aditi Singh registered an FIR or police complaint against Sukesh Chandrashekar, alleging him of taking Rs. 200 crore in 30 instalments from her. In the complaint, she mentioned about calls from "Anoop Kumar (Law Secretary)" and "under-secretary Abhinav" for money that was collected in several tranches by two people in a sedan.

"These people used to scare me, threaten me. So slowly, I gave them 200 crores, using my jewellery, investments and other assets. Even then, the threats continued. They pointed to my children studying abroad and said they would settle scores with them," she has stated in her complaint, which was registered after she was told by the Enforcement Directorate that she was being scammed.

Aditi Singh appears to be one of Sukesh Chandrashekhar's many 'targets'. He lived an extremely luxurious life in Chennai with a sea facing mansion and a collection of 23 cars including the likes of Ferrari, a Bentley and a Rolls Royce.

Bollywood Actor Jacqueline Fernandes has been linked to a money-laundering case against Chandrasekhar and was recently stopped at the Mumbai airport from travelling abroad. She has informed the investigators that Chandrashekhar presented her with Chanel bags, Gucci gym clothes, and lavish holidays with private jets, but that she wasn't involved in any illicit financial deals with him.

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Published on: Friday, December 17, 2021, 11:38 AM IST
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