Nationalist Congress Party spokesperson Nawab Malik on Thursday alleged that an extortion racket linked to drug-related cases against Bollywood actors was being run from the Maldives and Dubai.

Malik made the allegations on a day when the Narcotics Control Bureau raided actor Ananya Panday’s home in Mumbai. Officials from the agency also visited actor Shah Rukh Khan’s home.

The NCP spokesperson noted that during the Covid-19 pandemic, many actors had visited the Maldives. He alleged that Narcotics Control Bureau Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede’s family members were also in the country at the same time. He claimed that Wankhede himself was in Dubai at the time.

“We are convinced that the entire extortion took place in Maldives and Dubai,” the NCP leader said. He urged Wankhede to clarify his stance.

Malik added that after actor Sushant Singh Rajput died by suicide in June 2020, a “special officer” was brought into the Narcotics Control Bureau.

“The Central Bureau of Investigation took over the investigation into Rajput’s death,” Malik noted. “The mystery about whether it was a suicide or a murder has not yet been resolved. But after, the Narcotics Control Bureau began its games with the film industry.”

The NCP leader claimed that Rajput’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty was framed in a false case, and that dozens of film actors and actresses were “paraded” before the drugs agency.

“Attempts were also made to frame people in criminal cases,” Malik told the media.

On Thursday evening, the Narcotics Control Bureau denied allegations made by Malik. The agency’s Deputy Director General Ashok Mutha Jain told reporters that Wankhede had asked for permission to visit Maldives with his family, ANI reported. The officer has not filed any application to go to Dubai, Jain said.

Wankhede himself told reporters that he was in Mumbai in December, the period when Malik alleged that he was in Dubai. “This can be investigated...This is a false allegation,” he added.

The Narcotics Control Bureau arrested Aryan Khan after a raid on a cruise party off the coast of Mumbai on October 2. On Thursday, a Mumbai court extended his judicial custody till October 30.

On October 6, Malik alleged that Bharatiya Janata Party leader Manish Bhanushali and private investigator KP Gosavi were among those who took part in the Narcotics Control Bureau’s raid on the cruise ship.

He questioned whether the Narcotics Control Bureau has the authority to allow private citizens to take part in raids or to take their help for such operations.