The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday questioned actor Rhea Chakraborty for nearly eight hours in connection with its money laundering case against her and her family members. The ED case is based on an FIR filed on a complaint by actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s father K K Singh in Patna, accusing Chakraborty and her family members of cheating and siphoning funds from Rajput’s bank accounts.
Rhea and her brother Showik Chakraborty came to the ED office after noon after the ED rejected her request to postpone the questioning till the Supreme Court heard her petition, seeking transfer of the case lodged by Bihar police to Mumbai. “In view of the fact that the ED has informed the media that the request to postpone her attendance is rejected, Rhea has appeared before the ED office,” her advocate Satish Maneshinde said, adding that she is a law-abiding citizen and would cooperate with the probe.
Rhea Chakraborty’s father Indrajit Chakraborty, her brother Showik and Shruti Modi, the former manager of Rajput, were also questioned by the ED on Friday.
The agency is looking into purchase of two properties by Rhea and her family in Mumbai and the books of accounts of three companies set up by Sushant. Rhea and her brother are directors in at least two of these firms — Front India For World Foundation and Vividrage Rhealityx Private Limited. Rhea’s income tax returns have also come under the scanner of the agency.
After Chakraborty and her brother left the ED office, Maneshinde said they had cooperated and answered questions put to them. “They had all documents in their possession, including IT Returns. She has always cooperated with investigations with police and ED. She has nothing to hide. In the event she’s called again , she will appear at the appointed time,” Maneshinde said.
The ED on July 31 registered a money laundering case against Chakraborty and a few of her relatives based on the FIR filed in Patna on July 25.
In the FIR, it is alleged that Rs 15 crore was siphoned off from Sushant’s account in one year “to bank accounts of persons not known or connected to the late actor”. The FIR also says that Singh came to know from a bank statement of Rajput’s account that Rs 15 crore were transferred to other accounts, “which had no connection with my son”. Singh’s complaint seeks a probe into all accounts held by Sushant and his credit cards to see if any amount was transferred to Chakraborty or others associated with her.
The ED has already questioned Sushant’s chartered accountant Sandeep Sridhar and his house manager Samuel Miranda, who is said to have been hired by Chakraborty. The agency has also summoned Chakraborty’s CA Ritesh Shah. The ED is probing whether Sushant’s wealth has been illegally siphoned off in a manner that will attract money laundering charges.
The actor was found dead at his Bandra residence on June 14.
The FIR filed by Patna police invokes IPC Sections 306 (abetment of suicide), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), 380 (theft in dwelling house), 406 (criminal breach of trust) 506 (criminal intimidation),120B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating). Of these, the offence of cheating falls under predicate offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, enabling the ED to investigate.
The agency has summoned Sushant’s friend Siddharth Pithani for questioning on Saturday.
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