• Saturday, April 01, 2023


Witness alleges narcotics official sought £2.4m from Shah Rukh Khan

Shah Rukh Khan (Photo by AFP via Getty Images)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

AN independent witness in the cruise drugs seizure case on Sunday (24) claimed that an official of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and some other persons demanded Rs 250 million (£2.4m) from Hindi superstar Shah Rukh Khan to release his son Aryan Khan in the case.

Prabhakar Sail, a witness in the case, told the media in Mumbai that NCB officials also asked him to sign “nine to ten blank papers”.

However, a senior NCB official denied the allegations, terming them as “completely false and malicious”.

NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede earlier this month led the agency’s ‘drug bust’ on a cruise ship following which Aryan Khan was arrested on October 3. He is currently lodged in the Arthur Road jail in Mumbai.

Recently, the Pune police issued a lookout circular against K P Gosavi, another independent witness of the NCB in the cruise drugs case who used to offer people jobs abroad, in a 2018 cheating case.

On Sunday (24), Sail alleged that an official of the NCB, Gosavi and another person, named Sam D’Souza, had demanded Rs 250m (£2.4m) from Shah Rukh Khan to release his son.

Sail, who is the personal bodyguard of Gosavi and accompanied him on the night of the raid, said after Aryan Khan was brought to the NCB office, Gosavi met D’Souza. Sail claimed he heard Gosavi telling D’Souza over the phone about a demand of Rs 250m and to settle at Rs 180m (£1.74m) as they “have to give Rs 80m (£775,222) to Sameer Wankhede”.

The NCB, while stating that Wankhede has categorically denied the allegations, also said that as the matter is sub judice, Sail should have submitted his prayer to the court if he had anything to say.

Mumbai NCB’s deputy director-general (DDG) Mutha Ashok Jain issued a statement saying that he came to know through social media that Sail is a witness in the case.

“As he (Sail) is a witness in the case and the case is before the honourable court and is sub judice, he needs to submit his prayer to the court rather than through social media if he has anything to say,” the statement said.

In addition, there are certain vigilance-related allegations against certain persons in the affidavit, which are based on overhearing by Sail, it said.

“Wankhede has categorically denied these allegations. As some of the contents of the affidavit are related to vigilance matter, we are hereby forwarding the affidavit to the Director General (DG) NCB and requesting him for further necessary action,” the statement added.

Maharashtra minister and the state’s ruling Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesman Nawab Malik, who has repeatedly termed the cruise drugs bust case as “fake”, said Sail’s claims were “very serious” and demanded a probe into it by a special investigation team (SIT).

Malik reiterated his allegation that Wankhede was involved in “extortion and terrorising the Mumbai film industry.”

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut in a tweet said, “Witness in AryanKhan case made to sign on blank paper by NCB is shocking. Also, there are reports that there was demand of huge money. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that these cases are made to defame Maharashtra. This seems to be coming true. Police should take suo motu cognizance.”

Indian National Congress’ Maharashtra state unit spokesman Atul Londhe said Sail’s allegation substantiated the party’s charge that central agencies were being used “against the opposition parties”. He demanded that the Supreme Court take appropriate action against the “misuse of agencies politically”.

Eastern Eye

Related Stories

Eastern Eye


Mrunal Thakur on Dhamaka, experience of working with Kartik Aaryan,…
Nushrratt Bharuccha on Chhorii, pressure of comparison with Lapachhapi, upcoming…
Abhimanyu Dassani on Meenakshi Sundareshwar, how his mom Bhagyashree reacted…