Deccan Chronicle

ED probes Sushant Singh Rajput's friend, business manager in money laundering case

Deccan Chronicle | DC Correspondent

Published on: August 11, 2020 | Updated on: August 11, 2020

Pithani and Modi arrived at the office of the central probe agency in the Ballard Estate area around 11 am

Actor Sushant Singh Rajput. (PTI)

Actor Sushant Singh Rajput. (PTI)

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday questioned Sushant Singh Rajput's friend and roommate Siddharth Pithani and the late actor's business manager Shruti Modi in connection with a money laundering case linked to his death.

Pithani and Modi arrived at the office of the central probe agency in the Ballard Estate area around 11 am in response to their scheduled summons, officials said.

Both of them were questioned by the agency on Monday and their statements were recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Shruti Modi was questioned last week too.

Pithani, an IT professional, had told various news channels that he was present in the Bandra flat on June 14 when the 34-year-old actor allegedly hanged himself.

Pithani, who Rajput used to call 'Buddha', is stated to be living with Rajput for about a year, and had earlier recorded his statement with the Mumbai Police as part of its accidental death report (ADR) probe in the case.

On Monday, the ED questioned the prime accused in the case, actor Rhea Chakraborty (28), for about nine hours. She has been questioned for around 18-19 hours till now.

Her father Indrajit Chakraborty and brother Showik have also been questioned for varied lengths of time earlier.

The ED is also expected to question one of Rajput's three sisters in this case on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Rhea, her family and a friend of Rajput are expected to be called in for questioning again.

The ED had also questioned the chartered accountants (CAs) of Rhea and Rajput and the deceased actor's house manager Samuel Miranda in the past.

The agency is understood to have questioned Rhea, who stated in her petition to the Supreme Court that she was in a live-in relationship with Rajput, about her friendship with the late actor, business dealings and the developments that took place over the last few years between them.

The ED's line of questioning, officials said, is revolving around Rhea's income, investments, business and professional deals, and links.

Also under the ED's scanner is a property located in the city's Khar area and another in Raigad district of the state, both linked to Rhea, for the source of purchase and ownership.

Agency sources have said they "want more answers" from Rhea over the alleged mismatch between her income, expenditure and investments.

They said while Rhea has filed Income Tax Returns stating an income of about Rs 18 lakh in the recent past, the value of her investments is reportedly higher.

Her father, they said, is a retired defence personnel who gets a pension of around Rs one lakh per month.

The sources said Rhea told the agency that she had made the property investments from her income, savings and has also taken bank loans.

Rhea has been accused by Rajput's father of abetting his son's suicide and she had initially refused to appear before the agency citing her appeal pending before the Supreme Court that is slated to be heard on Tuesday.

Her lawyer Satish Maneshinde had said Rhea is a law-abiding citizen and would cooperate with the probe.

She has filed a petition in the apex court requesting that the case lodged by the Bihar Police against her be transferred to the Mumbai police.

Rhea, through her lawyer, also shared a picture of a note on Saturday which she claimed was written by Rajput to express his gratitude towards her and her family.

She also shared a photograph of a water sipper, which is a piece of movie merchandise from Rajput's 2019 film "Chhichhore".

"The only property of Sushant that I possess," she said in a message sent along with the photo to the media.

The ED, during the questioning sessions, is learnt to have confronted Rhea, Showik and Modi with certain bank statements that purportedly show transfer of small amounts into Showik's accounts from those of Rajput and Chakraborty.

Rajput's 74-year-old father K K Singh, who resides in Patna, had on July 25 filed a complaint with the Patna police against Rhea, her parents (including mother Sandhya Chakraborty), Showik, Rajput's manager Samuel Miranda, Shruti Modi and unknown persons accusing them of cheating and abetting his son's suicide.

The CBI had re-registered this FIR as a fresh case on Thursday and named as accused the same people.

Singh also alleged financial irregularities in bank accounts of his son.

In the complaint, Singh alleged that an amount of Rs 15 crore was siphoned off from Rajput's bank account in one year to accounts of persons not known or connected to the late actor.

Under the ED's scanner are also at least two companies linked to Rajput and some financial deals involving Rhea, her father and Showik, who are stated to be directors in these companies.

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