Denying any political links to the recent drug bust at a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has said that it followed all procedures during raids and the agency’s action was in accordance with the law.
At a press conference, Gyaneshwar Singh, Deputy Director-General of NCB, said the allegations levelled against the central agency were “baseless”.
“Some allegations levelled against the organisation are baseless and seem to be with malice and probable prejudice that may have been harboured in retaliation against earlier legal actions carried out by NCB. NCB reiterates that its procedure has been and will continue to be professionally and legally transparent and unbiased,” Gyaneshwar Singh said.
The NCB statement follows the allegation of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which is a member of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, that there was no seizure made on the Cordelia cruise ship in which Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan and other alleged drug consumers were caught.
Gyaneshwar Singh said that based on a tip-off, the team of NCB Mumbai raided at International Cruise Terminal, Green Gate Mumbai and Cordelia Cruise ship on 2 October and intercepted eight people, including Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan. Others detained by the NCB were Vikrant Chhokar, Ishmeet Singh Chadha, Arbaaz A Merchant, Aryan Khan, Mohak Jaswal, Munmun Dhamecha and Nupur Satija.
The NCB said that various drugs like cocaine, mephedrone, charas, hydroponic weed and MDMA were found on the spot along with Rs 1,33,000 in cash.
The NCB said four follow-up seizures were made after the drug bust on the Cordelia Cruise.
The NCB said that based on the preliminary interrogation of accused Mohak Jaiswal, a team of NCB Mumbai conducted a raid at Jogeshwari and intercepted one person namely Abdul Kadir Shaikh with Ecstasy and a commercial quantity of Mephedrone in his possession on 3 October.
The NCB launched a follow-up operation at Goregaon based on the inputs by Ishmeet Singh Chadha. The NCB intercepted one Shreyas Surendra Nair in possession of Charas on 4 October.
“Further, in follow-up operations, NCB Mumbai intercepted Manish Rajgaria who was invited as a guest in the ship and recovered hydroponic weed with multi-strain cannabis. NCB Mumbai arrested one Avin Sahu who sailed in the ship/cruise Cordelia on consumption charges on 4 October,” the NCB said in a statement.
Further, the NCB arrested four individuals — Gopal Jee Anand, Samir Sehgal, Manav Singhal and Bhaskar Arora — who belonged to an event management company. The NCB arrested Achit Kumar with Hydroponic Weed @ Multi strain Cannabis at Powai.
Later in the day, NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede told reporters that a foreign national had been taken into custody in connection with the cruise ship drug bust. The person was held “with a commercial quantity of MDMA” from Bandra in Mumbai and is “connected to the same group”, he said.