Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) deputy director general (ops) Sanjay Singh has denied media reports which had suggested there was no evidence against Aryan Khan being part of a larger drugs conspiracy. Singh, who became the head of a special investigation team (SIT) and took over the probe, called the said media reports as 'premature.'
"As far as the media reports on non-availability of evidences against Aryan Khan are concerned, these are not true and are just speculations and nothing else. These statements were not cross-checked with NCB before being published. Investigation is not yet completed, and it is premature to say anything at this stage," Singh told India Today.
Several media reports claimed that SIT has found Aryan Khan was never in possession of drugs, hence, there was no need to take his phone and check his chats; and neither do the chats suggest that Khan was part of any international syndicate. It also claimed that the NCB officials did not conduct the raid with supporting video footage and further questioned the conduct of the agency's former Mumbai Zonal Unit director Sameer Wankhede.
Wankhede led a team of officers and some witnesses on the night of October 2 last year to raid a cruise ship, Cordelia, at International Cruise Terminal at Green Gate in Mumbai. NCB seized 13 grams of cocaine, five grams of mephedrone, 21 grams of marijuana, 22 pills of MDMA (Ecstasy), and Rs 1.33 lakh in cash from cruise vessel.
The agency had arrested Aryan Khan, 24, Arbaaz Merchant, 26, and Munmum Dhamecha, 28, on the afternoon of October 3. Subsequently, the agency arrested 17 more persons in connection with the raid.
Relying on WhatsApp chats, Wankhede's team claimed the accused were part of a larger conspiracy. It alleged that Aryan Khan was in touch with some foreign drug supplier, and the chats referred to "hard drugs" and "bulk quantities". However, rejecting NCB's claims, a single bench of justice, Nitin W Sambre of Bombay High Court, noted that there was no evidence to suggest the existence of any conspiracy.
(With inputs from Divyesh Singh)
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