After five years, the drugs seizure case, involving Provogue employees and policemen, came to an end.
Former Provogue employees Allwyn Sequeria, and Vishal Maghnani, Sequeria’s brother Joseph, and Assistant Police Inspectors Sanjay Shinde and Shantilal Jadhav were acquitted on Monday for lack of evidence and prosecution’s failure to prove the case.
On January 26, 2005, the police detained Allwyn, who was allegedly carrying vials of cocaine in a parcel to be delivered to Chennai. He was arrested on March 3, 2005.
The Chennai address belonged to Vishal Maghnani, who was arrested on June 23, 2005.
Shinde and Jadhav, who were earlier investigating the case, were arrested in July 2005 for allegedly trying to replace the cocaine with boric powder after taking money from Meghnani and Joseph.
On August 3, Provogue owner Salil Chaturvedi too was arrested after cocaine was allegedly recovered during a raid at his Lokhandwala residence.
Three Tanzanians — Thomas Odombo, Sako Syed and David — were also arrested for peddling drugs.
The police had accused Chaturvedi of “profiting’’ through links with international drug smugglers. Though the initial remand applications claimed Chaturvedi regularly bought cocaine from the Tanzanians, the police did a turnaround in the charge sheet filed in 2006. They claimed that Chaturvedi was arrested only for “possession of 3 gm of cocaine”.
The court conducted three separate trials against Chaturvedi, the Tanzzanians and the five who were acquitted on Monday.
The special Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances court had acquitted Chaturvedi on April 3, 2009. Even the three Tanzanians were acquitted for lack of evidence.
The high court had also reinstated Jadhav in March.