Former TV anchor Pinky Irani (53) was on Wednesday arrested by the Economic Offences Wing over her alleged links to conman Sukesh Chandrasekhar who is facing a money laundering case.
Police said she was called for questioning and arrested after “sufficient evidence” against her was found.
The Enforcement Directorate chargesheet against Sukesh goes into detail about Irani’s role. According to the chargesheet and officials involved with the probe, Irani has been described as a “personal shopper” for actresses, including Jacqueline Fernandez, and the one who put her in touch with Sukesh.
According to the Delhi Police, she was once an anchor on a TV show and is “well-connected” in the entertainment industry. “She allegedly contacted models and actresses on Sukesh’s behalf. She would allegedly ask them to meet Sukesh or talk to him on the phone, and also buy expensive gifts for them (from his money),” said a source.
In its supplementary chargesheet, the ED states that Irani and Sukesh met in 2016-17 on Instagram.
“In her statement, she claimed that he wanted to start a talent agency service and wanted her to lead it. She got in touch with Fernandez’s make-up artist and got her introduced to Sukesh,” said an officer.
The chargesheet mentions various expensive gifts such as branded bags and diamond jewellery purchased and delivered by Irani, who was allegedly offered Rs 2 crore by Sukesh to introduce him to the actress.
“She (Irani) had delivered a Tiffany diamond proposal ring which had J and S initials, along with flowers and chocolates on behalf of Sukesh,” reads the chargesheet.
When the news about Sukesh’s criminal activities came to light, Irani was allegedly offered an additional Rs 10 crore to “sort out” the differences between him and Fernandez.
Police claim Irani has admitted she was in touch with Sukesh over phone and video calls as well as in person. “She has also named other women – TV actresses and models – who she got in touch with and purchased gifts for,” alleged the police, adding that they too may be questioned in the future.