India's Anti-Drug Agency Rejects Bribery, Intimidation Accusations in Arrest of Shah Rukh Khan's Son
Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s 23-year-old son Aryan was arrested on 3 October after India’s Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) raided a rave party on a cruise off the country’s western coast. The NCB has claimed that Aryan had been involved in illegal “procurement and distribution” of drugs, besides being in possession of banned substances.
India's Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) zonal director Sameer Wankhede on Sunday rejected accusations that officials intimidated a witness in a high-profile drug bust
to sign on a blank paper, saying that he would give a "befitting reply in court".
Wankhede made the comment in an interview to broadcaster India Today TV.
21 October 2021, 10:35 GMT
Prabhakar Sail, a bodyguard of Kiran P. Gosavi, and the witness in question, earlier accused the NCB of intimidation and forcing him to put his signature on a blank piece of paper.
Gosavi, a private investigator, was allegedly also present at the rave party that led to Aryan's arrest. He has been absconding since the 3 October raid.
Both Sail and Gosavi have been named as witnesses in the case. According to news reports, Sail was also present at the time when the NCB had carried out the raid and arrested Aryan Khan.
Sail has also alleged in a court affidavit that he “overheard” a conversation between his boss and a person named Sam D’Souza, in which they were discussing a $2.39 million payout. As per Sail, nearly $1 million was also earmarked for Wankhede, who is currently investigating the matter.
Sail claimed that he was forced to file the court affidavit since he feared for the safety of his life (due to involvement as a witness in the high-profile case).
Indian news website NDTV
cited government sources questioning Sail’s claim, also asking “why would someone be in jail” if “money had changed hands”.
“There are CCTV cameras in the office and nothing of this sort happened,” NCB sources were also quoted as saying, as they called Sail’s allegations an attempt to “malign the image” of the organisation.
So far, twenty people have reportedly been arrested in the drug bust, with the NCB officials also questioning several Bollywood actors such as Ananya Pandey for their connections with Aryan Khan.
The NCB has said in court that it confiscated 13 grams of cocaine, 21 grams of hashish, 22 pills of MDMA (commonly known as ecstasy) and 5 grams of MD from Aryan.
Aryan has unsuccessfully applied for bail
on several occasions since his arrest, most recently on 20 October. During a court hearing, Aryan’s lawyer told the court that no “recovery” of drugs was made from him and allegations of drug trafficking levelled against his client were absurd, as per reports.