From posing as former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s grandson, to claiming to be YSR Reddy’s nephew, Sukesh Chandrashekhar has managed to scam people for large sums of money for 10 years now.
His latest attempt, to allegedly bribe Election commission officials to get the ‘two leaves’ symbol for the Sasikala faction of AIADMK has however backfired miserably.
The 28-year-old has accused Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dhinakaran of masterminding this criminal conspiracy.
The Delhi Police claim that Sukesh had led Dhinakaran to believe that the Election Commission could be influenced over the ‘two leaves’ decision with a bribe of Rs 50-60 crore. Sukesh was said to be in possession of Rs 1.30 crore at the time of his arrest from Hyatt hotel in Delhi, on Sunday night. The Delhi police believe that Dhinakaran could have been in direct touch with Chandrasekhar.
An FIR has been registered against Dhinakaran under various sections of the IPC, including 120B (Criminal conspiracy), 170 (impersonating a public servant), and under Section 8 of The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Dhinakaran, who claims to not know Sukesh, is not the first victim or accomplice of this conman’s elaborate schemes.
A Conman Through the Years
Sukesh Chandrasekhar, was only 17 years old when he was first arrested by the Bengaluru police in 2005, reports the Indian Express. He had claimed to be a friend of former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s son and cheated a family friend of Rs 1.14 crore.
Even before he was 18 and eligible for a driving license, police say, he had forged the signature of the then police commissioner. He used the signature on a letter, dated April 2006, that claimed he was allowed to drive cars and bikes “full throttle” anywhere in Karnataka.
Sukesh reportedly moved out of Bangalore after 2007 and shifted his operations to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. He lived in an upmarket Jubilee Hills bungalow, for which he paid Rs 2.5 lakh per month, and spent Rs 25 lakh on renting high-end cars.
Born in a middle class family, Sukesh is said to have a penchant for cars and racing and spent his money on watches, cellphones, gold ornaments and clothes.
In the six years following his arrest and his subsequent release on bail, Sukesh attempted to scam people, by pretending to be related to several political leaders and bureaucrats.
He posed as the grandson of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, the son-in-law of Karunanidhi’s son and former union minister MK Alagiri, and former union minister TR Baalu, among others.
There are nearly 50 cases against Sukesh in various states, according to The Hindu. According to this report in the Indian Express, he had a sound understanding of the working of contracts, tendering systems and hierarchy in government, and the role powerful people can play in procurements.
Sukesh was also arrested in 2009 and 2011. He was released on bail each time. In 2011, it was his partner-in-crime and girlfriend, Leena Maria Paul, who helped police arrest him. Leena, an actor from Thrissur, who has starred in films like ‘Madras Cafe’, is said to have continued her relationship with Sukesh.
Sukesh was nabbed in April 2011 for cheating dozens of businessmen in Tamil Nadu by posing as a secretary in then Karnataka Chief Minister Yeddyurappa’s office and promising government contracts.
The Indian Express reported in 2013 that Sukesh had allegedly conned over 100 people, including poultry farmers, underwear manufacturers, pressure cooker makers, bank executives, parking systems makers, kitchen equipment makers and a packaged dates firm of over Rs 30 crore in six years.
In 2013, the Delhi Police arrested both Leena and Sukesh while they were in hiding, as reported by the Times of India. They were accused of a Rs 19-crore fraud involving a Chennai-based business couple and a nationalised bank.
Out on bail, the duo was arrested again by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch in 2015 in an alleged investment scam, according to The Hindu. In 2016, however, all charges against Leena were dropped because they found no evidence to prosecute her. Now caught in a much larger game, Sukesh may finally have to hang up his career of crime and pay for the fraud that he has committed.
(The article was originally published on The News Minute.)
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