Twist in Aryan Khan case as probe taken away from top official amid graft charges


Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan appears before Narcotics Control Bureau as per the conditions set by Bombay High Court while granting him bail in the drugs-on-cruise case, in Mumbai on Friday. (ANI Photo)

Drug bust on cruise: Sameer Wankhede has been accused of extortion and forging documents to secure a government job by Nationalist Congress Party minister Nawab Malik

Our Bureau
Mumbai/New Delhi

In a dramatic move, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising officers from the Operations Branch of Narcotics Control Bureau Headquarters in New Delhi has taken over a total of six cases, including the drugs on cruise case from NCB Mumbai Zonal Unit. “A Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising officers from Operations Branch of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Headquarters has been constituted by the Director- General, NCB to take over a total of 6 cases from NCB Mumbai Zonal Unit which have national and international ramifications, in order to conduct deeper investigation to find out forward and backward linkages,” read a release by Sanjay Kumar Singh, Deputy Director General (Ops) NCB Headquarters.

The team of NCB’s Mumbai unit led by Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede will not investigate six cases including the drugs on cruise matter involving actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, sources said.

An NCB official said that Sameer Wankhede is an Officer of Zonal Director Rank which is equivalent to the rank of a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) and such a senior officer does not become the investigating officer of any case. Commenting over the developments, Wankhede said: “I was never the investigating officer of the cases. I am still the zonal director. I have not been removed from my posts. In fact, I demanded in the petition to investigate the allegations over me by central agencies.”

“I have not been removed from the investigation. It was my writ petition in court that the matter be probed by a central agency. So Aryan case and Sameer Khan case are being probed by Delhi NCB’s SIT. It is in coordination between NCB teams of Delhi and Mumbai,” he said.

NCB Deputy Director South-Western Region General Mutha Ashok Jain said a total of six cases including Aryan Khan’s case and 5 others of the Mumbai zone will be now investigated by teams from Delhi. “It was an administrative decision,” Jain said.

According to sources, the Mumbai NCB team under Wankhede will also not be probing the case against Sameer Khan, son-in-law of Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik. “Sameer Wankhede has been removed from 5 cases including the Aryan Khan case. There are 26 cases in all that need to be probed. This is just the beginning… a lot more has to be done to clean this system and we will do it,” the Maharashtra minister tweeted.

Earlier on Tuesday, Wankhede said, “The drug mafia is trying to frame him and his family in false cases.” He has been accused of extortion and forging documents to secure a government job.

Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Mumbai Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede reaches the NCB office, in Mumbai on Tuesday. (ANI Photo)

Malik had alleged that Wankhede was born a Muslim but he forged documents, including a caste certificate, to pass off as a Scheduled Caste (SC) person to get recruitment under quota after clearing the UPSC exams.

Wankhede, who has been accused of extortion and forging documents to secure a government job by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik, said that a peddler named Salman had earlier tried to frame his family. “A peddler, Salman, had approached my sister who is a lawyer. But she doesn’t deal with the cases under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) cases so she sent him back. Salman had tried to trap us through a middleman. He was later arrested and is in jail right now. False allegations are being levelled against me by sharing his WhatsApp chat.”

Wankhede added that the middleman, who tried to trap his family, had given a false complaint earlier this year to Mumbai Police. “Nothing came out of it. After that, peddlers like Salman were used to trap my family. Such attempts are still going on and the drug mafia is behind this,” he added.

Reacting to Nawab Malik’s allegations of extortion, Wankhede said, “As far as my expensive clothes (worn by Wankhede – as alleged by Nawab Malik) is concerned, it is just a rumor. He has less knowledge and he should find out these things.”

Earlier, a Mumbai-based Advocate Kanishk Jayant had filed a complaint and alleged criminal conspiracy by the five persons – KP Gosavi, Manish Bhanushali, Amir Furniturewala, Prateek Gaba and Rushab Sachdeva- and requested the Police Commissioner Nagrale to file FIR for extortion and their suspicious role in Cordelia Cruise Drug Case.

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