The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) gave a clean chit to actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan in the Cordelia cruise drugs case today — in less than two months after a key witness in the case died mysteriously in early April. The agency did not name him in its charge sheet that indicted five others.
The NCB had arrested Aryan Khan in connection with the Mumbai cruise drugs case early in October. After several court hearings, lots of drama, and 26 long days in custody later, the Bombay High Court granted him bail on 28 October.
Aryan Khan finally walked out of jail on 30 October. There were 10 volumes of the NCB charge sheet that were submitted in spiral bound to the registry.
3 October 2021: After a raid on Cordelia Cruz, the NCB Mumbai arrested Aryan Khan along with his friend. There were no drugs found with Aryan, but NCB claimed that he was involved in a drug racket.
28 October 2021: After Malik’s addresses to the press, police in Pune arrested Kiran Gosavi, a ‘panch witness’ in the case. Gosavi had allegedly asked for ransom from Shah Rukh Khan’s manager for the release of Aryan on the night of Aryan’s arrest.
24 October 2021: Prabhakar Sail, another panch in the case and driver of Gosavi, claimed that there was a plan to extort Rs 50 crore after Aryan Khan’s arrest.
November 2021: Due to continuous allegations, NCB formed a vigilance team to investigate corruption allegations against Mumbai NCB. Six cases pertaining to celebrities were transferred to a special investigation team from Delhi.
March 2022: NCB got a 60-day extension to file the charge sheet in the case
April 2022: NCB suspended officers Vishwa Vijay Singh and Ashish Ranjan. No reason was given. Pooja Dadlani did appear in front of Mumbai Police despite summons to record statements on allegations against Gosavi demanding ransom.
2 April 2022: Reminiscent of witnesses dying or disappearing in the hit-and-run case against Salman Khan, a key eyewitness who had testified for the NCB that actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan was indeed a consumer of contraband, Prabhakar Sail, has died of cardiac arrest. According to his lawyer, he suffered a fatal heart attack at his residence in Mumbai. He was 36 years old.
Prabhakar was among the panch witnesses of the NCB in the case of the infamous rave party on a cruise where Aryan Khan had been caught. Bodyguard to KP Gosavi, who is another witness in the drug bust case, Prabhakar made headlines when he had filed an affidavit where he made serious allegations of a payoff to then NCB zonal chief Sameer Wankhede in the drug raid that led to the arrest of Aryan Khan.
27 May 2022: The anti-drugs agency filed a 6,000-page charge sheet. Aryan is not named as an accused due to lack of evidence. NCB dropped the conspiracy charge from the case. NCB officials, who arrested Aryan, are likely to face action.