'Bunty' with fast cars and a 'Bubli'

Alleged Con king who posed as relative of politicians

By Imran Ahmed Siddiqui
  • Published 18.04.17
  •  

New Delhi, April 17: The "middleman" through whom Tamil Nadu politician T.T.V. Dinakaran allegedly tried to bribe Election Commission officials is a "colourful and ambitious" 27-year-old conman with a passion for fast cars and a Bollywood starlet as an associate, police sources said.

They alleged that Sukesh Chandrasekar alias Balaji had duped over a 100 victims, from senior citizens to banks, posing as a relative of some or other prominent politician and moving around with bodyguards in beacon-flashing convoys.

He had apparently used the same technique to impress actress Leena Maria Paul, who allegedly became his accomplice. She features in Shoojit Sircar's 2013 political thriller Madras Café.

"They were a real-life Bunty and Bubli," an officer said, alluding to Shaad Ali's 2005 film Bunty Aur Babli, which stars Abhishek Bachchan and Rani Mukerji as partners in fraud.

Chandrasekar, arrested from a five-star hotel in central Delhi this morning, had been conning people since he was a teenager and had amassed a fortune of tens of crores, crime branch sources said.

"He was a drag race enthusiast and led a very fast life. He used his ill-gotten money to buy BMWs, Ferraris and Mercs," an officer said.

"During interrogation today, he flaunted his diamond bracelet, which he claimed cost Rs 6.5 crore, while his pair of branded shoes were worth Rs 7.5 lakh."

The police have seized a BMW and a Mercedes belonging to Chandrasekar that were parked at the hotel, where he had booked himself as an MP from Bangalore.

Officers said Chandrasekar had first befriended Paul through Facebook by posing as Dayanidhi Alagiri, grandson of former Tamil Nadu chief minister M. Karunanidhi.

To impress her, he had travelled to Kochi, where Paul was shooting for a film, in a cavalcade of cars fitted with red beacons.

"Although Paul later realised he had duped her, she fell for him, dazzled by his opulent lifestyle," an officer said.

Chandrasekar, a Bangalore boy, was barely 18 when he was first arrested in August 2007 on the charge of cheating a senior citizen out of Rs 1.4 crore by promising to help him with a land deal. He soon got bail.

He and Paul apparently gave the police the slip after a car chase on Bangalore's streets in 2010. They shot into the limelight against after being accused of duping a Canara Bank branch in Chennai out of Rs 19 crore using forged documents.

For a person purportedly in hiding and wanted by the police in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, Chandrasekar lived in a surprisingly ostentatious manner.

He and Paul hopped from one luxurious house to another across the country. The couple paid a monthly rent of Rs 4.5 lakh for one of their homes, a south Delhi farmhouse, and owned or rented a fleet of Rolls Royces, Land Cruisers, BMWs, Aston Martins and other cars, sources said.

Delhi police arrested Chandrasekar from Calcutta's South City mall in April 2013 on charges of cheating and impersonation but he was out on bail within seven months.

Paul had been arrested from a south Delhi farmhouse a month earlier and put in Puzhal Central Jail, Chennai. She was rearrested in 2015 after receiving bail but got out again.

Delhi police sources said they were not looking for Paul in connection with the bribery case against Dinakaran.

Officers believe she is somewhere in Mumbai, writing a book on her life. She has apparently been paid a large advance.