Sam D’Souza, a person mentioned among others in the affidavit of Prabhakar Sail, a witness in the cruise drug bust case, has claimed in a television interview that Shah Rukh Khan’s manager, Pooja Dadlani, had paid money, hoping to save the actor’s son Aryan from arrest, but the money was returned when they realised it was not possible.
D’Souza, a businessman, alleged that Shah Rukh Khan’s aide had handed over Rs 50 lakh to KP Gosavi, another witness in the same case, but when he realised that Gosavi was a “cheat”, he asked him to return the money to her.
Sail, in his affidavit, had mentioned that Gosavi, the aide of Shah Rukh Khan and D’Souza met early 3 October at Lower Parel. Sail, bodyguard to Gosavi, dropped him to his Vashi residence. Gosavi later asked Sail to pick up money from outside a hotel in Tardeo.
Someone arrived in a car and gave Sail two bags, which he took to D’Souza at Trident Hotel. D’Souza counted the money and said it was only Rs 38 lakh, the affidavit stated.
Sail claimed to have overheard a conversation where Gosavi and others discussed demanding Rs 25 crore, of which Rs 8 crore was to be paid to NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede.
“After much abuse and pressure, we managed to recover Rs 38 lakh from Gosavi, the rest we contributed and paid back to Dadlani and we understood that Gosavi was a cheat,” D’Souza told the TV channel.
D’Souza clarified that Gosavi had saved Sail’s phone number as ‘SW’ and told him that he was under pressure from ‘SW’ (Sameer Wankhede). But, through Truecaller app, D’Souza realised it was Sail’s number.
Clarifying that he had nothing to do with the 2 October raid, D’souza said he got a call from one Sunil Patil on 1 October. Patil claimed to have some information about the party onboard the cruise ship the next day. “Patil asked me to connect him to the NCB. Hence, I called up Gosavi and connected the duo,” he claimed.
D’Souza said he assumed that Gosavi had recorded Aryan’s voice note saying, “Papa, I am in NCB’s custody,” in his phone. Aryan told Gosavi to contact Shah Rukh Khan’s manager and he is believed to have sent this voice note to her to reaffirm that he has access to the NCB office and was bargaining on behalf of an NCB official.
D’Souza said he agreed to help only after Gosavi told him that no drugs were found on Aryan and he then sent a message to Dadlani through a contact. “I never absconded. I will file an affidavit in a day or two as unknown people have been calling me and visiting my house impersonating police and issuing threats,” he said.