A witness in the Mumbai cruise ship drugs case, involving actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, has claimed that he had overheard private investigator Kiran Gosavi talk about a Rs 18 crore deal, of which Rs 8 crore was to be paid to Narcotics Control Bureau Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede, The New Indian Express reported.
In an affidavit, Prabhakar Sail, who identified himself as Gosavi’s bodyguard, claimed that he had heard the private investigator talk to a man named Sam D’Souza about the deal over phone.
Gosavi is also a Narcotics Control Bureau witness in the drugs case. He was seen in a selfie with Aryan Khan inside the anti-drug agency’s office.
Sail claimed that after the phone call, Gosavi, D’Souza and a woman, Pooja Dadlani, held a meeting in a car. Dadlani is the manager of Shah Rukh Khan, according to media reports. However, the affidavit does not mention anything on this.
On Sunday afternoon, Sail told reporters that the meeting took place at Lower Parel area of Mumbai in the early hours of October 3.
“Till such time we reached Lower Parel [from NCB office for the meeting] KP Gosavi was talking to Sam on the phone and stated that you put a bomb of [Rs] 25 crores and lets settle at 18 final because we have to give 8 crores to Sameer Wankhede,” the affidavit quoted Sail as saying.
In his affidavit, Sail also claimed that a Narcotics Control Bureau official had asked him to sign on 10 blank papers. This was after Gosavi instructed Sail to sign as a panch (witness) in the case.
Sail added that Gosavi has gone missing and that he too fears being abducted or killed.
“As seen in the big cases, witnesses are often killed or taken away and I therefore want to state the truth,” the affidavit said.
Unidentified agency officials told NDTV that the allegations were “baseless”. They asked if any deal was struck, why would Khan be in jail.
The officials claimed that they had never met Sail before October 2. They also claimed that the allegations were made “just to malign” the central agency’s image.
Aryan Khan’s drug case
Aryan Khan and seven others were arrested by the central agency after a raid on a cruise party off the coast of Mumbai on October 2. The agency said it had seized 13 grams of cocaine, 5 grams of mephedrone, 21 grams of charas, 22 pills of MDMA (ecstasy) and Rs 1.3 lakh from the ship.
Giving details of the drugs bust, Sail said Gosavi had sent him some photographs and asked him to look out if they were boarding the cruise ship. Sail said that he identified one person and informed Gosavi about it.
Later, Gosavi texted him back saying that the person he identified had been arrested with 13 others, the affidavit said.
Sail claimed that Gosavi had also asked him to collect Rs 50 lakh in cash from someone and later told him to give the money to D’Souza.
“I reached Trident Hotel, where Sam [D’Souza] met me and I handed over the bag of cash to him in his Innova Crysta,” Sail said. “However, when he counted the cash, it was only Rs 38 lakh.”
Aryan Khan is in custody after a special court in Mumbai denied him bail on Wednesday. He has approached the Bombay High Court for bail.
Khan’s lawyers have repeatedly argued in courts that no drugs were found in his possession.
However, on Wednesday, judge VV Patil of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances court had rejected this argument. He said that Khan knew that co-accused Arbaaz Merchant was carrying narcotic substances in his shoes at the party. Patil said that this amounted to “conscious possession”.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said that Sail’s claims were shocking and the police should take suo motu cognisance of his affidavit.
In a tweet, Raut shared a video in which Aryan Khan can be seen speaking on the phone, sitting next to Gosavi. In an interview to Mirror Now, Sail said that he had shot the video inside the Narcotics Control Bureau office.
“CM Uddhav Thackeray said that these cases [drug bust] are made to defame Maharashtra,” Raut said in his tweet. “This seems to be coming true.”
Wankhede seeks protection from legal action
Following Sail’s affidavit, Wankhede wrote to Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale requesting him to ensure that no legal action is carried out “to frame him with ulterior motives,” reported ANI.
Wankhede said that some “public functionaries have” threatened him of imprisonment and dismissal from his job. He said that some some people were planning to initiate legal action against him. However, he did not name anybody.
The NCB official said that the agency’s Deputy Director General (South West Region) Mutha Ashok Jain has already written to Director General of the Narcotics Control Bureau Satya Narayan Pradhan asking him to take necessary action in the matter.