Jailed conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in another money laundering case linked to the 2017 Election Commission bribery instance allegedly involving former AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran and others, officials said on Monday.
The 32-year-old is already in jail after the central probe agency arrested him last year in a case of allegedly cheating and extorting money from some rich people, including individuals like former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh’s wife Aditi Singh.
A number of Bollywood actors and models have been questioned in this 2021 case by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for their alleged links to Chandrashekhar.
The ED had placed Chandrashekhar under arrest in the 2017 case and put him in jail a few days back, while a local court later remanded him to the agency’s custody, officials said.
The investigating team will record his statement in the alleged Election Commission bribery case under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they said. The latest arrest came in the criminal case that was filed by the ED after taking cognisance of a 2017 Delhi Police crime branch FIR.
Chandrashekar was arrested in April 2017 from a five star hotel by the Delhi Police for allegedly taking money from Mr Dhinakaran to bribe Election Commission (EC) officials to get the AIADMK ‘two leaves’ symbol for the VK Sasikala faction in a by-election to the R K Nagar assembly seat in Tamil Nadu.
Mr Dhinakaran, charge-sheeted by police, was also arrested by the Delhi Police after four days of questioning for allegedly attempting to bribe EC officials for the symbol.
The bypoll was necessitated by the death of the then Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, who represented the assembly segment.
The EC had frozen the AIADMK’s symbol after the two factions — one led by Dhinakaran’s aunt Sasikala and the other by former chief minister O Panneerselvam — staked a claim to it. Mr Dhinakaran’s close aide Mallikarjuna was also arrested for allegedly facilitating a Rs 50 crore deal between him and Chandrashekar.
Mr Dhinakaran was the treasurer of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and was expelled from the party in August 2017 along with Jayalalithaa’s confidante Sasikala.
He later launched his political party called Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK).