New Delhi: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)’s 11,700-page charge sheet in a drug related case involving actor Rhea Chakraborty, girlfriend of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput, said she “sponsored purchase of drugs — curated marijuana” between March and May 2020 via her debit card, ThePrint has learnt.
According to the charge sheet filed Friday, Chakraborty’s debit card was used to withdraw close to Rs 50,000 in separate transactions from various ATMs, and the cash was then used to procure drugs, sources said.
While there is no direct evidence to establish Chakraborty withdrew the cash for drug procurement, NCB claims to have WhatsApp chats between Chakraborty, her brother Showik and Rajput’s housekeeper Dipesh Sawant, which “corroborates that the said money was withdrawn and used for procurement of drugs”, sources said.
In the charge sheet, which names 33 accused, besides Chakraborty and Showik, the agency has cited WhatsApp chats of both along with Sawant to say the trio discussed procurement of drugs and it was Chakraborty who financed the same.
“We have chats which show that Rhea gave her card to Showik and he gave it to Dipesh to withdraw cash for the purpose of purchasing drugs. It was Dipesh who finally withdrew the money from Rhea’s card to buy drugs,” said a source.
“We have chats in which Rhea asks Showik if (he) has withdrawn the cash and when the drugs will be procured. Moreover, there are chats between Showik and Dispesh in which Showik asks him if the work was done and where the drugs will be delivered,” the source said.
The charge sheet also mentions how Sawant’s phone location situated him at the place where drugs were to be delivered by one of the peddlers, who was later arrested.
“The location where the drugs were to be delivered was shared on WhatsApp chats between Showik and Dispesh. Investigation revealed that the location of Dipesh’s phone was at the same place where the drugs were to be delivered according to the chats,” the source said.
“The fact that drugs were purchased and that Rhea knowingly financed these procurement is corroborated with these chats,” the source said.
Chakraborty’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde told ThePrint he was yet to see the charge sheet and wouldn’t be able to comment on it till then.
The NCB filed a case in August 2020 after the Enforcement Directorate, while probing an alleged money laundering angle, claimed to have found several WhatsApp chats of Chakraborty and her brother Showik related to consumption, procurement and transportation of drugs.
Chakraborty was in a relationship with Rajput at the time of his death on 14 June 2020, when he was found hanging from the ceiling fan in his bedroom. She has been booked under the National Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act for alleged drug possession and consumption.
‘Rajput insisted on procuring drugs’
According to the source quoted above, Rhea Chakraborty in a statement to the police said she procured drugs only because “Rajput asked her to”. “She has said in her statement that Rajput insisted and asked her to procure drugs. Later she also admitted of having consumed marijuana, occasionally,” the source said.
Out of the total accused, eight are still in judicial custody, while the rest, including the brother-sister duo, have been granted bail.
Further investigation is continuing in respect of several other known and unknown persons, said an NCB official who didn’t wish to be named.
In a statement Friday, the agency said that during the investigation that started last year, it had seized various narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances, electronic gadgets, and Indian as well as foreign currency notes.
Technical gadgets and mobile phones were analysed during the probe and relevant incriminating evidence regarding the sale, purchase, procurement, consumption and possession of narcotics drugs were extracted. The drugs seized during the investigation have been sent for chemical examination, the NCB said.
It also said the case was thoroughly investigated on the basis of items seized from the accused, voluntary disclosure statements, technical evidence such as connectivity through call details, WhatsApp chats, details of bank accounts/financial transactions and other oral and documentary evidence.
“During the investigation, substantial quantity of narcotics drugs (charas, ganja, LSD, ecstasy) and psychotropic substances (alprazolam and clonazepam), covered under the provisions of sections 20(b), 22, 23 of the NDPS Act, were seized,” it said.
“Substantial Indian and foreign currencies were also seized during the investigation and action was taken under relevant provisions,” the probe agency said.