Car designer Dilip Chhabria ‘illegally extracted money’: Kapil Sharma

Comedian and actor Kapil Sharma told the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that car designer Dilip Chhabria, who was jailed in 2020 for fraud and cheating, resorted to illegal means of extracting money from him, adding that the DC Motors owner also tried to shift blame for the non-delivery of a customised vehicle.

The ED has recorded the statement of Mohammed Hamid, the authorised representative of Sharma, as part of its chargesheet filed against Chhabria in a money laundering case.

A special PMLA court, presiding over the case, on Wednesday took cognizance of the chargesheet and issued summons to Chhabria and six other accused in the case.

They have been asked to appear before it on February 26.

The ED case is based on three FIRs registered against the accused, including a cheating case filed by Sharma.

In his statement before ED, the actor’s representative said that Sharma, the sole proprietor of K9 Productions, had approached Chhabria for the purchase of a customised vanity van in December 2016.

Subsequently, an agreement was executed between K9 Productions and Dilip Chhabria Design Private Limited (DCDPL) in March 2017 for the delivery of a customised vanity van for Rs 4.5 crore (excluding taxes), he said.

As per agreed terms, a payment of Rs 5.31 crore (including taxes) was made by Sharma’s production house, the statement said.

Hamid submitted that DCDPL neither delivered the promised vanity van to Sharma nor refunded any money.

On being asked about the delay in work on the vanity van, Chhabria told Hamid, who had gone to the car designer’s Pune facility to inspect the vehicle, that all the materials for its interiors had been purchased and kept in a warehouse. Chhabria talked about his stressed financial status and need for funds, the actor’s representative said.

Later, Chhabria sent an additional quotation for Rs 54,20,800 to Sharma and sought the funds for the delivery of the vehicle.

The sudden demand for additional money raised doubt in Sharma’s mind. When questioned about his intention to extract money from the actor, Chhabria took a hostile approach, the statement said.

The accused started sending mail correspondence to Sharma, falsely blaming him for the non-timely inspection of the vanity van and citing the same as the reason for the non-delivery of the vehicle, it said.

Sensing his intention to cheat, Sharma took legal steps and sent notice of recovery to the car designer’s firm on April 18, 2019, the actor’s representative said in the statement.

However, Chhabria resorted to multiple illegal ways, including arbitrary parking charges for the non-delivered vanity van and seeking a loan for a sister concern (Mis DC Motor Works Pvt Ltd) to make payments to vendors, for extracting money from Sharma, it said.

Sharma then filed a police complaint against Chhabria and his associates, the statement said.

The ED said the accused persons and company have knowingly indulged in illegitimate means for personal gains and have caused loss to all the complainants “to the tune of Rs 18 13 crore”, which it termed the proceeds of crime.

Citing money trails, ED said the amount was directly or indirectly credited to the bank accounts of the accused company. It is proved through money trails that the generated proceeds of crime were laundered via illegal means by prime accused Chhabria, ED added.

Chhabria was arrested on December 28, 2020 by the Crime Intelligence Unit team of Mumbai Police after police found that his firm Dilip Chhabria (DC) Designs Pvt Ltd had allegedly availed loans from some non-banking financial companies (NBFC) by posing as customers looking to buy DC sports car Avanti.

In 2021, the comedian claimed that Chhabria took Rs 5.5 crore from him for designing his vanity van but failed to deliver.

Published By:

Karishma Saurabh Kalita

Published On:

Feb 8, 2024

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