The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had quizzed producer Dinesh Vijan about missing Rs 17 crore payment made to late actor Sushant Singh Rajput. The producer is currently in Dubai.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED), while probing the money angle in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case, has found a suspicious payment worth crores, allegedly made to the late actor by a producer with whom he had worked on a film in the past. The suspicious ‘missing’ payment, according to sources, is said to be of around Rs 17 crore.
THE ‘MISSING PAYMENT’ WAS FOR RAABTA
A source confirmed this to India Today and revealed that the said payment, which is being investigated, was for a film named Raabta that released in 2017. Sushant Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon were the lead pair in the film. Producer Dinesh Vijan was questioned by the agency last month and was asked to submit some documents related to the payments made to Sushant Singh Rajput for the film. As per sources, Dinesh Vijan had submitted some documents but failed to submit details of the shoot budget for the overseas shoot that was carried out for the film in Hungary.
WHAT IS OVERSEAS PAYMENT PERK?
Film producers get perks in form of payments if they shoot overseas and it could be around twenty percent of the total budget spent on shoot in the respective country. This is also called as overseas payment perk. It is suspected that producers show inflated expenditure to foreign governments, especially in the European countries, to avail the payment perks and use it to pay actors working with them in the respective film or pocket it. Further, it is suspected that the money is then routed to India through hawala channels from the respective foreign country .
India Today had first reported about this modus operandi being used by Bollywood producers, which is under probe by ED, on October 14.
ED SEARCHED DINESH VIJAN’S RESIDENCE
When Vijan failed to submit the said document, it was followed by a search at his residence and office on October 14. During the search, ED officials had found documents pertaining to the budget and expenditure of the film submitted to authorities at Budapest in Hungary. The budget for the said film in the document was around Rs 50 crore. The document also said that of the total amount of Rs 50 crore, Rs 17 crore were paid to Sushant Singh Rajput.
THE CASE OF THE ‘MISSING’ RS 15 CRORE
The ED started investigating the case on allegations made by Sushant Singh Rajput’s father, that a sum of Rs 15 crore had been siphoned off from the late actor’s account by Rhea Chakraborty, her family members, Sushant’s staffers Shruti Modi and Samuel Miranda. However, in 2016, when Sushant was working on the film Raabta, he was not in touch with Rhea. The two had started dating in the year 2018.
The missing payment is suspicious in nature and Dinesh Vijan, despite repeated questioning, failed to provide details on where and how the payment was made to Sushant Singh Rajput and where did the money go if such payment was done.
DINESH VIJAN IS IN DUBAI
Sources have said that Dinesh Vijan is presently in Dubai and when summoned by the ED, he provided his medical certificate, stating that he has been infected by Covid-19 and is recuperating presently.
Other than Dinesh Vijan, the ED, in the past few days, had also questioned Sushant Singh Rajput’s business manager Shruti Modi and Uday Singh Gauri, who runs the talent management company Corner Stone LLP.
Gauri handled Sushant’s account and had also spoken to the late actor a day before his demise.
The ED, in probe against Rhea Chakraborty and others, hasn’t found any suspicious transaction which could support the allegation that they siphoned off money from Sushant Singh Rajput’s accounts.
STATEMENT FROM MADDOCK FILMS
However, Dinesh Vijan’s firm Maddock Films has issued a statement saying they ‘have also not received’ the money. The statement reads, “Maddock Films has not made any payment to Sushant in Hungary. Maddock has also not received Rs17 crore whether as actor fee, or any rebate from Hungary as wrongly claimed in your article.
“We have made full and final payment to Sushant for the film Raabta as per the agreement signed by him with us, and this payment was received by him in India. We have submitted relevant documents for the proof of such payment to the department.
“It should be noted that in fact all funding and financial transactions for the shooting in Hungary were handled by T-series. You may confirm from T Series.
“Maddock Films is a responsible filmmaker and we dutifully follow the rules and law of our country.
India Today has always stood by the truth and we hope that sharing the correct facts with you will lead to correct reporting as a responsible publication.
“We are not sure if we can speak about the matter at this moment, but to avoid any controversy we want to clarify we are fully cooperating with the agency and have furnished all details required and it is our sincere request to all to avoid spreading incorrect information.
“You may note that Mr. Vijan was to travel back to India and had to therefore as per norms undergo a Covid-19 test prior to flying. He’s detected positive for Covid-19 which is why he could not travel back and is presently recuperating.
“He will be travelling back to India as soon as he recovers, he and Maddock films have been and will fully co-operate with the authorities, as required.”
SUSHANT SINGH RAJPUT DEATH CASE
Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead at his Bandra apartment on June 14. While the ED is probing the money laundering angle in the case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is probing the cause of death. The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is investigating the drug angle.