The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) has arrested 'Madras Cafe' actress Leena Maria Paul along with five others in connection with a fraud case for allegedly duping investors, police said today. According to police, Paul's partner Sekar Chandrashekhar (25) had created a "web of schemes" by promising hefty returns to investors and used to operate through his office in suburban Goregaon here. "We had a credible information that these accused were running a racket in which prime suspect Sekar Chandrashekhar (25) and his aides were operating money circulation schemes by forming a fake company 'Lion Oak India' and were illegally accepting cash by promising returns of over 300 per cent," Joint Commissioner of Police, EOW, Dhananjay Kamlakar told reporters here. When asked about the role of Paul (26), who had acted in Bollywood film 'Madras Cafe' (2013) in the fraud, the officer evaded direct reply, saying their investigation is still in the preliminary stage. Paul, Chandrashekhar and four others were apprehended on May 29 under various sections of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (banning) Act 1978 and of IPC.
They were remanded in police custody till June 4. "We believe that in the last one year, over 1,000 investors have invested a sum of around Rs 10 crore in the schemes run by the company," Kamlakar said. He said EOW has recovered valuables and property worth Rs 6.5 crore from the accused. EOW today displayed the seized items before the media. They included as many as 117 imported watches worth Rs 1.17 crore, 12 mobile phone handsets worth Rs 37.40 lakh, cash worth Rs 3.5 lakh, besides nine high-end cars including models like Audi, Bentley and Maserati. "Main accused Chandrashekhar used to live lavishly and purchased expensive items through the money of investors," Kamlakar said, adding that nobody has lodged a complaint yet in this regard. He said Chandrashekhar is a repeat offender and had been booked twice by Chennai police in 2013. "Chandrashekhar was on bail and arrived in Mumbai last year. He has created a web of 21 schemes here to cheat gullible investors," added Kamlakar. He said police are planning to auction the valuables they have seized from the accused and also their property to return money of investors.