ED books Sushant’s girlfriend Rhea for money laundering
Move comes after cognisance of Bihar Police FIR for abetment of suicide, theft and financial fraud
In what could spell further trouble for actress Rhea Chakraborty, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday registered a money laundering case in connection with the death of Bollywood star Sushant Singh Rajput and suspected misuse of his funds.
The ED case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has been lodged after taking cognisance of the Bihar Police FIR against actress Rhea and others for alleged abetment of suicide, theft and other offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The ED had on Thursday sought a copy of the Bihar Police FIR to launch a probe under PMLA.
After studying the Bihar Police FIR, the ED found prima facie instance of siphoning of funds from Rajput’s bank accounts and decided to register the ECIR, officials said.
An Enforcement Case Information Report (FIR in police parlance) has been filed against the accused named in the Bihar Police FIR, including Rhea, her family and six others, they said.
Rhea and other co-accused in the PMLA case will be soon summoned for questioning in connection with the money laundering probe, they said.
The ED has analysed the contents of the Patna police FIR in detail and also independently gathered inputs on Rajput’s income, bank accounts and the related companies, they said, adding, more details will be collated from the contents of Mumbai Police case which will also form part of the PMLA probe.
Under the PMLA, the ED will probe the allegations of mishandling and purported diversion of Rajput’s funds and operation of his bank accounts and if money laundering was involved in this.
The agency will also probe if Rajput’s income and his companies were exploited for money laundering and creation of tainted assets through proceeds of crime, officials further said.
The ED is authorised to attach illicit properties of the accused under PMLA.
Rajput’s father Krishna Kumar Singh (74) on Tuesday lodged a complaint with the Patna Police against Rhea, her family members and six others for abetment to suicide of his son besides other IPC charges inlcuding cheating and theft.
In his complaint to the Patna police, Singh has accused Rhea of having befriended his son in May, 2019 with the intention of furthering her own career.
The deceased film actor’s father also sought a police investigation to ascertain where the Rs 15 crore deposited in a bank account held by Rajput was transferred.
He also alleged that on June 6, less than a week before Rajput was found hanging from a ceiling of his house, Rhea came to his place and decamped with many of his belongings, including cash, his laptop, ATM card and other investment documents.
The Bihar Police had pressed various sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) in its FIR, including 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 380 (theft in dwelling house), 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 306 (abetment of suicide).
The Mumbai police is probing the alleged suicide case under Section 174 of the CrPC relating to accidental death.
Rajput starred in hit films like ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’, ‘Raabta’, ‘Kedarnath’, ‘Chhichhore’ and ‘Sonchiriya’ besides the biopic on cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni styled as ‘MS Dhoni: The Untold Story’.
Saturday, 01 August 2020 | PNS | New Delhi