1. On June 15, 2020, Sukash Chandrashekhar, sitting in Delhi’s Rohini Jail, first calls on the cellphone of Aditi Singh, wife of former Ranbaxy owner Shivinder Singh, lodged in Tihar Jail since 2019. Sukash uses a spoof app because of which the number displayed on Aditi’s cellphone is one of those listed for the Union home ministry. Introducing himself as Union law secretary Anoop Kumar, he says he is calling on the instruction of the PMO. He tells Aditi that because of Shivinder’s expertise in healthcare, the government wanted to include him in a top panel to be formed to fight Covid, and would therefore help the jailed businessman get out on bail soon.
2. Later in the day, Sukash calls again, this time as Abhinav, under-secretary to Anoop Kumar, and repeats the government’s intention to help her family. It is only after three calls that ‘Abhinav’ asks Aditi to contribute Rs 20 crore to the party fund. The payment is made in two instalments—Rs 1 crore routed to Hong Kong and Rs 19 crore in cash delivered in Delhi. Demands for more money follow.
3. Sukash also flaunts his influence by sharing a lot of accurate personal information with Aditi that makes her believe that he can indeed harm her husband and children. She does not discuss it even with her husband or anyone else out of fear.
4. Aditi sells jewellery, borrows money and liquidates all her assets, including the investments made for their children’s future, to arrange funds. Her wealth manager Shikha Singh introduces her to Manoj Mangla and Manoj Godha—who help her convert her assets into cash and also transfer them abroad, in lieu of high commissions. Komal Poddar, an RBL Bank manager, and two other acquaintances, Navneet Jain and Rahul Wadhwa, also help in some transactions
5. Between June 2020 and May 2021, around Rs 200 crore is paid to Sukash in 40 transactions. All the cash pickups in Delhi are done by his aide Deepak Ramnani, 62, and Pradeep Ramdanee, 53. Suspecting unusual activity in Aditi’s accounts, already under the scanner due to the money-laundering case against her husband, the ED confronts her. Aditi realises she has been conned and approaches the Delhi Police
COVER FEATURE | Sukash Chandrashekhar | The king of con
THE CRIME SYNDICATE
The ED lists several individuals who helped Sukash, sitting inside Rohini Jail, execute the Rs 200 crore con. The list of his accomplices who are in jail and facing charges:
Leena Maria Paul @ Leena Paulose, 36: Wife of Sukash, the former small-time actress has been named accused in at least four cases. When Sukash was extorting money from Aditi Singh sitting inside Rohini Jail, she coordinated with the rest of the gang members.
Deepak Ramnani, 62 and Pradeep Ramdanee, 53: ED chargesheet claims Deepak was introduced to Sukash in jail by Unitech ex-MD Sanjay Chandra, now in Tihar Jail. Deepak collected the cash given by Aditi Singh and delivered a part of it to Avtar Singh Kochhar for hawala transactions. When Deepak was not in town, his brother Pradeep did the pickup and delivery of cash. They took commissions for the same
Avtar Singh Kochhar, 67: The alleged hawala dealer who did the transactions for part of the money Sukash extorted from Aditi Singh
B. Mohanraj, 35: Sukash and Leena’s advocate cleverly crafted various mechanisms to launder the money looted by them. He was instrumental in helping Sukash buy a residential property in Chennai in August 2020 when the conman was in jail
Arun Muthu, 31: He handled the financial transactions done by Leena. He has been involved in receiving the proceeds of crime in Chennai from hawala operators
Kamlesh Kothari, 40: He roped in his cousin Jitendra Kothari to lend his name to the property purchased by Sukash and Leena in Chennai in August 2020