Extortion row: Process to record Wankhede's statement underway, says NCB DDG

The NCB has initiated a vigilance probe into allegations of an extortion attempt in the drugs-on-cruise case. 
Sameer Wankhede who is probing the case against Aryan Khan has been accused of extortion, forgery of documents to get a job.(HT Photo.)
Sameer Wankhede who is probing the case against Aryan Khan has been accused of extortion, forgery of documents to get a job.(HT Photo.)
Updated on Oct 27, 2021 04:10 PM IST
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By | Written by Sohini Goswami, New Delhi

The Narcotic Control Bureau’s (NCB) deputy director general (DDG)-northern region, Gyaneshwar Singh, said on Wednesday a process was underway to recording the statement of the agency’s Mumbai zone director Sameer Wankhede as part of the investigation into extortion allegations in the drugs-on-cruise case.

Speaking to reporters outside the NCB's Mumbai office, Singh said, "The documents pertaining to the case are being examined. All people related to the case will be called for probe. The process to record the statement of Sameer Wankhede is going on."

Singh is heading a five-member team that landed in Mumbai earlier in the day to probe and collect documents and recordings from the NCB Ballard Estate office in south Mumbai in the case in which Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son is behind bars. His bail application will be heard in a while at the Bombay high court.

Also read | Not a crime, fulfilled my mother's wish: Wankhede on minister's 'Nikah' attack

The NCB initiated a probe after one of its independent witnesses, Prabhakar Sail, raised allegations of an extortion attempt worth 25 crore by some agency officials, including Wankhede, to let off Aryan.

Singh initially said all the material witnesses in the probe will be called to record their statements. “I will not take the name of any individual," Singh said.

Later, when prodded further, he said, "The statement of Wankhede is being recorded… it is a sensitive inquiry and it is not possible to share real-time information related to the probe, and we will not be able to share all the details.... We will definitely speak to Wankhede in connection with the inquiry and others also," he added.

Also read | Drug case: How focus shifted from Aryan Khan to NCB’s Sameer Wankhede

When asked if Wankhede will continue to probe the cruise drugs seizure case, Singh said he will not make any comments related to the investigation in that case as he is not directly connected to it, adding that was in Mumbai for a vigilance inquiry.

Wankhede, who is leading the probe in the cruise drugs case, visited the NCB's headquarters in New Delhi on Tuesday and spent over two hours. 

A PTI report said, the NCB inquiry will also look at the aspect of KP Gosavi, another independent witness of the NCB in the case, for coming in close proximity of Aryan after the raids, and the procedures followed by the sleuths while entrusting custody of all the accused arrested on October 3 from the international cruise terminal in Mumbai.

Photos and videos of Gosavi with Aryan have gone viral on social media and other news platforms. 

On Sunday, Wankhede wrote to Mumbai Police commissioner Hemant Nagrale, seeking protection from likely legal action "being planned" against him by unknown persons to falsely frame him concerning an alleged vigilance-related issue. 

On Monday, he failed to get any relief related to an affidavit on the sensational extortion claims made by Sail, with a special court saying it cannot pass a blanket order barring courts from taking cognisance of the document.

(With inputs from agencies)

 

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