New Delhi: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Sunday arrested eight people including Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, for allegedly procuring and consuming drugs like cocaine and MDMA for a “rave party” onboard a cruise ship off the coast of Mumbai.
The NCB claimed that they have sufficient evidence in form of WhatsApp chats and calls to show that the men were involved in the purchase and possession of the said drugs.
“We received an intelligence input about a rave party that was planned on the cruise that was going from Mumbai to Goa, following which a raid was conducted and the drugs were seized. Several people were detained for questioning and it is only after we were certain about the involvement of the accused, that the arrests were made,” a source in the NCB said.
“There are several suspicious transactions that have been done and are now under investigation. We have also apprehended a person who is in the supply chain of the drugs, who will now be interrogated to unearth the links and the entire drug nexus,” the source added.
During the raid, the NCB seized 13 grams of high-quality cocaine, 5 grams of MD, 21 grams of charas and 22 pills of MDMA and Rs 1,33,000 at International Cruise Terminal Green Gate, Mumbai.
Apart from Aryan Khan, the others arrested include Arbaz Merchant, Munmun Dhamecha, Nupur Satija, Ishmeet Singh Chadha, Mohak Jaiswal, Gomit Chopra and Vikrant Chhokar. While the court had granted one-day custody of Aryan Khan, Merchant and Dhamecha for further questioning in the case, the other five will be produced in the court Monday morning.
‘WhatsApp messages, texts will help trace peddlers’
The source quoted above said the NCB has “reliable information and electronic data to corroborate the charges and offences.”
In an application filed in the court, seeking remand of the three accused, the NCB said, “Prima facie investigation has revealed that there is incriminating material in form of WhatsApp chats clearly showing the nexus of the accused with suppliers and peddlers on a regular basis. These people need to be confronted with each other.”
A second source in the agency said that they have “sufficient leads” to trace the supply chain.
“The WhatsApp chats and the call detail records have enough evidence to show that the eight people were a part of the drug supply chain. They had procured drugs in the past as well and were in direct touch with peddlers. For this party too, they were contacted. We now need to record statements of all accused and confront them with each other,” the source said, adding that the NCB has been given a day’s custody of the accused.
“Once we question them and record their statements, things will become clearer… the statements of the accused also need to be verified and corroborated” the source added.
The NCB has also made teams to “trace the suppliers”.
“After questioning the accused, we have got some leads with the help of which we will trace the suppliers. Our teams are working on it. More arrests are likely,” the source said.
‘Aryan Khan was invited to the cruise’
Criminal counsel Satish Maneshinde, appearing for Aryan Khan, told the court that Shah Rukh Khan’s son was invited by the organiser as a special invite.
“Factually it is known that offences are bailable. Aryan Khan was invited by the organiser as a special invite. He did not have a ticket or even a boarding pass. Ultimately, he reached the premises of the dock,” India Today quoted Manishinde telling the court.
Maneshinde also argued that upon screening, nothing was found in Aryan’s bag, and moreover, the NCB did not find anything on his phone to suggest that he was part of the “nexus”.