More than a month after Chennai-based actress Leena Maria Paul was nabbed from a South Delhi farmhouse in a cheating case, the Delhi Police have also arrested her male accomplice Chandrashekhar. He was picked up from a shopping mall in Kolkata on Thursday and brought to the Capital. He will be handed over to the Chennai Police. The duo had cheated Canara Bank in Chennai to the tune of Rs.19 crore and was also involved in other cheating cases there. They had fled to Delhi to evade arrest and were living in a rented farmhouse. Chandrashekhar, the live-in partner of 25-year-old Maria Paul, had given the police the slip on May 28 when they had raided Khari Farms in Fatehpur Beri, where the couple had been staying for a month. The two liked to live in luxury and it was Chandrashekhar who helped Maria Paul dupe people. In Delhi, too, he had cheated a businessman of more than Rs.60 lakh posing as an IAS officer. He had also cheated three youths of money on the promise of getting them into Bollywood. He even posed as DMK chief M. Karunanidhi's grandson before gullible people. He drove a red-beacon vehicle and a Range Rover in Delhi to impress youths in the locality. In fact, nine luxury cars, including a Rolls Royce, were seized from the farmhouse in May. Chandrashekhar took Rs.3 lakh from each of the three youths, who fell for his bait, on the promise of getting them film roles. He told them that he knew filmmakers in Chennai and could get them into Bollywood. To convince them, he boasted about getting his live-in partner Maria Paul a role in John Abraham's movie Madras Cafe.
The police said both Chandrashekhar and Maria Paul are fond of expensive phones, bags and cars. When he was arrested while shopping, he had diamond rings worth Rs.75 lakh, a Louis Vuitton bag worth Rs.3 lakh and an Apple iPhone in his possession, which the police seized. "Our team led by inspector Ved Prakash had been tracking Chandrashekhar since he escaped from the farmhouse. On that day, he fled by taking advantage of the fact that one of the couple's driver resembled him. While our team was busy talking to the driver, assuming him to be Chandrashekhar, he slipped away," south district's deputy commissioner of police B.S. Jaiswal said. Maria Paul and the duo's six personal security officers, including three ex-servicemen, had been arrested in the joint operation by the Delhi Police and Chennai Crime Branch. The police said Chandrashekhar fled Delhi and went into hiding near the Indo-Nepal border, but used to come to Siliguri. "Our team traced him in Siliguri and finally arrested him from Kolkata,"Jaiswal added. Chandrashekhar had been evading arrest since 2011 itself when he was booked for his involvement in a cheating case in Chennai. He boasted of his contacts with film directors in Chennai. In fact, this was what brought Maria Paul close to him. Maria Paul, whose family is based in Dubai, had come to India two years ago. She came in touch with Chandrashekhar who helped her get modelling assignments in Mumbai and South India. Apart from Madras Cafe, the films that the Keralaborn actress has worked in include national award-winner actor Mohanlal's Red Chillies, Thousands in Goa and Cobra.