India

Drugs cruise case: It doesn’t look at political affiliation or religion, refutes ‘motivated’ allegations, says NCB

By PTI

MUMBAI: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Saturday said all allegations leveled against the agency in connection with the raid on the cruise ship and the alleged seizure of drugs, in which Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan was arrested, were “baseless”. inspired”. Afterthoughts and Prejudice”.

Samir Wankhede, Director, Mumbai Zone, NCB said that the anti-drug agency works professionally.

“We don’t see any political party or religion. We do our work in a professional manner,” he said.

Acting on a tip-off, an NCB team raided a Goa-bound cruise ship last Saturday and claimed to have recovered banned drugs.

A total of 18 people including Aryan Khan have been arrested in the case.

The incident took a political turn when Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik on Wednesday claimed that the raids were “fake” and that “outsiders” were involved.

Malik on Saturday alleged that the NCB had initially detained 11 people from the Goa-bound cruise ship, but released three of them hours later, including BJP leader Mohit Bhartiya’s brother-in-law.

A senior NCB official told media persons on Saturday that the two men whom Malik claimed to be “outsiders” who were involved in the raid, were actually among the nine independent witnesses involved in the operation.

Read also: NCP minister Nawab Malik demands probe into the release of all three

He said the NCB was not aware of the two before October 2, when the raids were conducted.

NCB Deputy Director General Dnyaneshwar Singh told reporters that such statements are based on conjectures and conjectures.

“These assumptions are frivolous and malicious in view of the record of documents and procedures duly followed by the NCB which may be subject to legal verification.

“NCB reiterates that its process has been professionally and legally transparent and fair and will continue to do so as all suspects/accused persons have been treated equally as per law,” he said.

Asked about the allegations, Singh said he would not comment on what others are saying about NCB.

“NCB is a responsible organization. Whatever we say, we say it on the basis of evidence and evidence. We are doing our job honestly and with dedication,” he said.

Singh said that as per the prescribed legal process, the presence of independent public witnesses is mandatory during any seizure operation.

Malik had claimed that a man named (KP) ‘Gosavi’, who is seen escorting Aryan Khan in a video, was not an NCB officer, and his social media profile states that he was from Kuala Lumpur. A private detective based in

He had also said that two men were seen escorting Arbaaz Merchant, who was also arrested in the case, and one of them is a BJP member, (later identified as Manish Bhanushali).

Singh said the NCB strictly follows the legal process and involves at least two independent witnesses in all its seizure operations.

“Since the operations are carried out on a real-time basis, field verification of independent witnesses is not possible as the main focus is on drug recovery,” he said.

Singh said a total of nine independent witnesses were involved in the entire operation (cruise ship raid) and Manish Bhanushali and KP Gosavi were among them.

“None of the independent witnesses, including two (Bhanushali and Gosavi), knew the NCB before October 2,” he said.

Later in a statement, Singh said that a total of 14 people were brought to the NCB zonal office (in Mumbai) for investigation.

“All of them were served notices under section 67, they were thoroughly investigated and their statements recorded,” Singh said.

Eight people were arrested and the remaining six were released as no incriminating evidence was found against them, he said, adding that the other six “can be added to the investigation as required by law”. “.

Since the panchanamas were made at the respective locations, the location, timing, condition and resources may differ, he said.

Singh said that these documents are a matter of court record and they have been produced in the court and will be part of the charge sheet in future.

“Therefore all such documents are part of a transparent legal process which can be examined at an appropriate forum,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sameer Wankhede said that they are independent witnesses.

“Whatever they (who are making allegations) want to say, let them say it. We will speak before the court,” he said without naming anyone.

Wankhede said the matter is sub-judice and investigation is on.

He said that the NCB will abide by the order of the court.

“NCB is an independent and professional agency. We do not see any political party or religion and we do our work in a professional manner,” he said.

Aryan Khan and two others were sent to Arthur Road Jail after a Metropolitan Magistrate’s court in Mumbai on Friday rejected the bail applications of Aryan Khan and two others.

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