‘Vengeful’ man arrested for sending Sadak-2 actor to Sharjah with drugs in audition prop
During the probe, the crime branch officials learnt that Paul is the mastermind and wanted to take revenge on the actor’s mother - Premila Pereira therefore he along with Ravi hatched a plan to frame her daughter and sent her to UAE carrying a trophy stuffed with drugs - purportedly for the audition of an international web-series
MUMBAI: The crime branch on Monday arrested a Borivali resident Anthony Paul and detained his associate Rajesh Babhote alias Ravi for allegedly framing a 27-year-old actor Chrisann Pereira into becoming a drug mule. The actor worked in some of the noted films like Sadak-2 and Batla House.
As part of the duo’s nefarious plan, the actor was sent to Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE) for an audition. Just before boarding the flight, she was given a trophy stuffed with drugs. She was told that the trophy was part of the audition prop.
Pereira was arrested at the Sharjah International Airport for smuggling drugs and later taken to Sharjah central prison.
During the probe, the crime branch officials learnt that Paul is the mastermind and wanted to take revenge on the actor’s mother - Premila Pereira therefore he along with Ravi hatched a plan to frame her daughter and sent her to UAE carrying a trophy stuffed with drugs - purportedly for the audition of an international web-series.
Police also learnt that Paul had not only framed the actor, but also sent four other Borivali residents to Sharjah using similar modus, and two of them were arrested in Sharjah and are still in prison for drug smuggling.
Paul, 35, lives in LIC Colony in Borivali and runs bakeries in Malad and Borivali. The second accused Rajesh Bobhate alias Ravi, 32, lives in Kankavli in Sindhudurg.
Paul knew the actor’s mother for five years and his sister lives in the same building where Premila lives in IC Colony at Borivali.
Police said during lockdown Paul was going to meet his sister when Premila’s pet dog barked and tried to bite Paul because of this he got angry and picked up a chair to beat the dog which Premila did not like and insulted him in front of people. Paul then decided to take revenge, said police inspector Deepak Sawant of unit 10 who is probing the case.
As per the FIR, the episode started when the actor’s mother received a message in English on March 23 from a person who claimed to be Ravi. Ravi asked the complainant that he met her for real estate work in Goregaon in 2022 where she introduced her daughter working in the film industry. Ravi said that he had opened a firm named ‘Talent Pool’ introduced her to his’ Talent Pool’ team and asked her to come for an interview for an international web series at a five-star hotel in Santacruz on March 25.
The actor went for an interview where she was informed that she had to visit Dubai for one day on April 1 for an audition and the expenses will be taken care of by Ravi. The ticket was booked for Sharjah on April 1 and she was informed that the vehicle would be available for her from Sharjah to Dubai. The return ticket was also booked for April 3. Ravi also told her that she would explain to her before she would take flight about whom she would meet and where her hotel was booked. Ravi met her in the afternoon around 2:30 at a coffee shop in Andheri and they chatted for around 2 hours. She then went to the airport at T2, mentioned in the FIR.
As per the FIR, Ravi handed over a trophy to her claiming that the trophy was part of the audition script. She travelled to Sharjah carrying the trophy. Upon reaching there, she checked that the room was not booked for her in the Hilton Hotel in Dubai. She then threw the trophy in the dustbin and spoke to her father and narrated the incident. As per the advice of the family member, she should report to the police at the airport. The actor then picked up the trophy and handed it over to the airport police at Sharjah where she was detained and later arrested for drug smuggling, said a crime branch official.
The incident came to light after Pareira’s family approached the Mumbai crime branch and started an investigation under the guidance of joint commissioner of police Lakhmi Gautam. The FIR was registered on April 24 at Vakola police station based on the statement given by the actor’s mother Premila.
The crime branch’s unit 10 arrested Paul from the Andheri area while they detained Ravi late evening and inquired about him, said a police officer.