Anti-Drugs Agency Amid Payoff Row

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Aryan Khan Drugs Case: Prabhakar Sail is one of nine witnesses named by the NCB

Highlights

  • Prabhakar Sail, a witness in Aryan Khan drugs case has turned ‘hostile’
  • Prabhakar Sail made claims about ₹ 8 crore payoffs to Sameer Wankhede
  • Aryan has been in jail since October 8

Mumbai:
Prabhakar Sail – a witness in the Aryan Khan drugs case – has turned ‘hostile’, the Narcotics Control Bureau told a Mumbai court this morning, a day after Mr Sail made sensational claims about Rs 8 crore payoffs to agency officer Sameer Wankhede.

Here are the top 10 points in this big story:

  1. Two affidavits have been filed with the NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act) special court. The first, filed by the NCB, says the fact Prabhakar Sail filed his affidavit before submitting it to the court shows he has turned hostile.
  2. The second was filed by Sameer Wankhede (in his personal capacity) in response to NCP leader Nawab Malik tweeting a document related to the NCB officer’s birth and alleging “forgery”. It says: “… have been personally targeted, especially by a known political figure, (since) one Sameer Khan, a relative of this honcho, was arrested in a drug case… from that time there is a personal vendetta…”
  3. Mr Wankhede also released a statement condemning the tweet. “The publishing of my personal documents is defamatory in nature and unnecessary invasion of my family privacy. It is intended to malign me, my family, my father, and my late mother,” he said, adding that the minister’s actions had put his family under “tremendous mental and emotional pressure”, and that he had been “pained by the slanderous attacks”.
  4. Shortly before news broke that these affidavits had been filed, Prabhakar Sail was seen at the Mumbai Police’s Crime Branch office (which is next door to the Mumbai Police Commissioner’s office). Mr Sail met Joint CP (Crime) Milind Bhambre and left.
  5. In Sunday’s affidavit Mr Sail – who claims to be a bodyguard to KP Gosavi, the alleged private investigator whose selfie with Aryan Khan (after his arrest) went viral – declared he had overheard a conversation on October 3 about a deal worth Rs 18 crore.
  6. According to Mr Sail, Gosavi – whom the NCB says is an ‘independent witness’ and is missing – said Rs 8 crore would have to be given to Sameer Wankhede. Mr Sail further claimed that he had personally delivered bags of cash worth Rs 38 lakh to D’Souza.
  7. The 15-minute meeting allegedly took place inside a car. Pooja Dadlani, the manager of Aryan Khan’s father, Shah Rukh Khan, was also present, according to Mr Sail, who is one of nine witnesses named by the NCB in the Mumbai drugs-on-cruise case.
  8. NCB sources have said Mr Sail’s allegations were made “to malign the (agency’s) image”. Nevertheless, it will investigate; Deputy Director-General Gyaneshwar Singh will lead that probe. Sources have said Mr Singh will talk to Mr Wankhede tomorrow.
  9. The Deputy Director-General has refused to be drawn into commenting on Sameer Wankhede’s removal; “I will not comment on it. It is premature to comment…” he said.
  10. Aryan has been in jail since October 8; he was arrested a day after being detained in the NCB’s raid on a cruise ship anchored off Mumbai. Twice denied bail by lower courts, his third appeal will be heard by the Bombay High Court tomorrow. His lawyers have argued that no drugs were found on him, and that the NCB’s case is based on WhatsApp chats.

 

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