A Japanese court last month sentenced businessman Ness Wadia to a two-year jail term for possessing drugs while on a skiing holiday, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday. However, it is a five-year suspended sentence, meaning the punishment will not be carried out unless he commits another crime during this period. Wadia has since returned to India.
Sniffer dogs had reportedly alerted customs officials about Wadia at the New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido in March. When officials searched him, they found about 25 grams of cannabis resin in a pocket of his trousers. He had flown via Hong Kong and was on his way to Niseko, a popular skiing destination.
Wadia admitted to possessing the drug and argued that it was for his personal use, a court official in Sapporo told the Financial Times. Wadia reportedly spent some time in detention before his indictment.
The Wadia Group said the judgement was clear. “It’s a suspended sentence. Hence it won’t impact Ness Wadia in the discharge of any of his responsibilities,” it added.
Ness Wadia is an heir to the 283-year-old Wadia Group and a co-owner of the Indian Premier League franchise Kings XI Punjab. Till 2011, Ness Wadia was the joint managing director of Bombay Dyeing. Since he stepped down, he has been co-owner of the IPL team and managing director of the Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation. He is also on the board of directors of several companies, such as Britannia Industries and Wadia BSN.
In 2014, his former girlfriend, actor Preity Zinta, filed a police complaint accusing him of physically and verbally abusing her during an IPL match in Mumbai. Zinta also claimed that Wadia had “misbehaved” and used derogatory language with her on previous occasions. The Bombay High Court last year quashed the molestation case.