South Indian actress Leena Maria Paul accused of duping investors and banks of several crores has been arrested from South Delhi on Tuesday. Her partner Balaji Chandrashekhar managed to escape from the police.
The 25-year-old actress, who has worked in several Tamil and Hindi films, and her live-in partner have been accused of swindling over ₹19 crore from Canara Bank in Chennai. The duo is said to have taken loans on the pretext of major projects and then absconded.
While on their daring exploits, Chandrashekar had posed as an IAS officer to many investors. He had even impersonated his friend Nikhil Gowda, son of former Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, to dupe his Bangalore landlord over ₹1 crore.
"We received information that the couple is in Delhi and are residing in Fatehpur Beri. On the basis of vehicle numbers and criminal intelligence, their location was traced. While we were able to arrest the actress, Balaji managed to escape. The couple is wanted in two major cheating cases in Chennai," B S Jaiswal, DCP (South) told Indian Express.
The joint raid conducted by Chennai and Delhi police led to Paul's arrest from a Vasant Kunj mall, but Chandrashekhar managed to flee in his Land Cruiser bearing registration number MH 04 AX 5.
The couple had shifted to Delhi and was staying at the Fatepur Beri farmhouse which they took on rent for ₹4 lakh per month. Nine luxury cars including Rolls Royce Phantom, Ashton Martin, BMW 530 D, Range Rover, Audi A4 and 81 watches were seized from the property.
The couple had hired six armed personal security officer of which three were ex-servicemen. Police arrested four of them for possession of weapons without proper license.
Paul and Chandrashekhar have been booked under sections 420 (Cheating), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 406 (breach of trust) under Indian Penal Code.
During interrogation by Delhi Police, the actress revealed that she was dental science graduate from Dubai where her parents lived.
She has acted in Malayalam superstar Mohanlal's "Red Chillies", John Abraham's production "Madras Cafe", "Husbands in Goa", "Cobra" and several other films.