Chennai: Sukesh Chandrasekar, whose “girlfriend” and actor Jacqueline Fernandez was stopped at Mumbai airport on Sunday, is no stranger to the world of conning.
Born with a silver tongue, he has frequently hit headlines since 2007 each time he is caught duping. In Tamil Nadu, he first came to limelight sometime in 2009 when he switched base from Bengaluru. Known as Sekar Reddy alias Balaji then, he managed to con people with his glib talk introducing himself as the grandson of then Chief Minister Karunanidhi.
“He was fluent in communicating in English and a few other languages. People easily fell for his charm. His tricks were varied. Sometimes, he would lure them to invest huge money in fraudulent schemes or at times promise to bail out people and scoot with their money,” recalls a police officer, who has investigated him early on.
In Bengaluru, he had duped people claiming to be a close friend of former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy.
His earliest girlfriends-cum-accomplice was Leena Maria Paul, the Madras Cafe actor. Both were arrested in 2015 by the Mumbai Police’s Economic Offences Wing. Prior to that the two had defrauded the Canara Bank of Rs 19 crore and were arrested by the Chennai police.
Sukesh aka Balaji has a fascination for luxurious living and top-end cars. Some months ago, the Enforcement Directorate raided his seaside bungalow near Chennai and was taken aback to see his fleet of Rolls Royce Ghost, Lamborghini Urus, Ferrari 458 Italia and Bentley Bentayga, apart from Mercedes.
“Ten years ago, when we arrested Sukesh and Leena from a farmhouse in South Delhi, we recovered nine super luxury cars,” recalls a police officer adding, back then they paid a few lakh rupees as monthly rent for the farm house.
While most of his targets were rich people, seemingly holding unaccounted money, in 2017 it came as a big surprise when then AIADMK (Amma faction) deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran was arrested by the Delhi police on the charge of conspiring to bribe the Election Commission of India to get the parent party’s ‘Two Leaves’ symbol allotted to his faction. Sukesh was named as a co-accused in the case and the charge against him was that he had promised Dhinakaran (since expelled from AIADMK) to get the frozen symbol for a hefty sum. That Dhinakaran could be tricked by someone like Sukesh jolted the political scene. Subsequently, when Dhinakaran was in jail, then Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami managed to get the party leaders to rally behind him and isolate Dhinakaran and his aunt V K Sasikala.
A few months ago, when Sukesh came out on bail following his father’s death in Chennai – for which he released a full-page advertisement in a leading English daily – the Delhi Police and Enforcement Directorate were shocked to find that from behind his prison cell in Rohini Jail, he had managed to dupe high profile clients of Rs 200 crore.
Aditi Singh, the wife of former Fortis promoter Shivinder Singh, had told the police that the money was paid by her after he promised to arrange bail for her husband, who along with his brother Malvinder Singh were arrested by the Delhi’s Economic Offences Wing in 2019.
Sukesh is back in jail but one would not be surprised if he still pulls another ace up his sleeves.
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Published on: Sunday, December 05, 2021, 10:43 PM IST