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How the drug case unfolded over four years

mumbai Updated: Feb 12, 2010 01:29 IST
Hindustan Times
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2005: when it all began

The police detained former Provogue staffer Allwyn Sequeira on January 26, 2005 and recovered cocaine in a parcel to be delivered to Chennai.

Sequeira was arrested on March 3. Vishal Maghnani, whom the parcel was addressed to, was arrested on June 23.

The police arrested Assistant Police Inspectors Sanjay Shinde and Shantilal Jadhav in July for trying to replace the drug with boric powder and extort money from Maghnani.

Salil Chaturvedi, owner of Provogue, was arrested on August 3 for allegedly possessing cocaine. Three Tanzanian nationals — Thomas Odombo, Sako Syed and David — were also arrested.

Chaturvedi was initially accused of making profits through links with international drug smugglers. He was also accused of buying cocaine from the Tanzanians and supplying it to Provogue Lounge and other pubs. However, the chargesheet said Chaturvedi had been arrested only for possession of 3 gm of cocaine.

2007: Hunters are hunted

In 2007, the HC directed the sessions court to order an inquiry against the policemen, who raided Chaturvedi’s home. This was after he claimed that the drugs were planted by the police. The enquiry is pending.

2008: Chaturvedi’s trial separated

He filed an application before the trial court seeking his trial to be separated from the trial of the other accused because the amount of drugs seized from them were different.

The trial was separated. Had Chaturvedi been tried with the other accused, he would have been tried as part of a larger conspiracy because the total quantity of drugs seized was 860 gm.

2009: Chaturvedi acquitted

The court acquitted Chaturvedi and the three Tanzanian. The case against Sequeira, Maghnani, Shinde and Jadhav is pending.

Chaturvedi filed a complaint against Head Constable Ashok Bhosale, Senior Police Inspector M.B. Datade and investigating officer Subhash Kenjale alleging that they planted the cocaine on him. He also moved the HC saying he had been framed. The petition is pending in the high court.