NCB shielding some people in cruise drug bust case: Nawab Malik

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and state minister Nawab Malik on Tuesday shared screenshots of WhatsApp messages and audio clips purported to be between KP Gosavi, an independent witness in the cruise ship drugs bust case. An NCB team led by zonal director Sameer Wankhede had conducted a raid on the cruise ship
Cruise drug bust case: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and state minister Nawab Malik also questioned why Kashiff Khan, a Fashion TV executive was allowed to board the ship that eventually left Mumbai for Goa and returned the following night. (HT PHOTO)
Cruise drug bust case: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and state minister Nawab Malik also questioned why Kashiff Khan, a Fashion TV executive was allowed to board the ship that eventually left Mumbai for Goa and returned the following night. (HT PHOTO)
Published on Nov 16, 2021 09:55 PM IST
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Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and state minister Nawab Malik on Tuesday shared screenshots of WhatsApp messages and audio clips purported to be between KP Gosavi, an independent witness in the cruise ship drugs bust case, and a Delhi-based unnamed informer, in a bid to show that the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) had planned to entrap guests who were scheduled to attend a party on the Cordelia cruise ship on October 2. Malik also questioned why Kashiff Khan, a Fashion TV executive was allowed to board the ship that eventually left Mumbai for Goa and returned the following night.

An NCB team led by zonal director Sameer Wankhede had conducted a raid on the cruise ship, which led to eventual arrest of 20 persons, including Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son, Aryan (23), who was detained with his friends Arbaaz Merchant on October 2 before they boarded the ship.

Malik said on Tuesday that while some people were caught before they boarded the ship, Kashiff Khan was given safe passage because he was allegedly close to Wankhede.

Responding to Malik’s allegations, Wankhede said that he did not know Kashiff Khan and had never met him. “If Kashiff Khan is close to me, then Malik should produce some evidence, like call data record or WhatsApp chats etc,” he said.

Gosavi is currently lodged in a Pune jail after he was arrested on a cheating case last month. His counsel, Sachin Kumbhar expressed his inability to comment on any NCB related matter. “I am restricted to cheating cases lodged in Pune, where the first case was registered with Faraskhana Police Station and then Lashkar Police Station took him into custody. Two more cases have been registered against him. We are looking into these cases only.”

Malik alleged that the NCB picked up certain individuals from the terminal at Green Gate, where the ship was docked, by distributing their pictures to some private individuals.

“Here are Whatsapp chats between K P Gosavi and an informer which shows how they were planning to trap people who were going to attend the party on the Cordelia Cruise. This is Sameer Dawood Wankhede’s private army therefore he has a lot to answer,” he said in a tweet which shared an audio recording.

Malik in the past had also alleged that Wankhede had formed an “army of private individuals” that used to extort money from drug peddlers and that Gosavi was part of it. Wankhede has repeatedly refuted all allegations.

According to the chats shared by Malik, in the first screenshot, the person can be seen asking Gosavi details of the people attending the cruise party along with their names and the outfits that they would be wearing. “Ok agar outfits mil jayenge to its easy to find them asap (It will become easier to find them if we could know about the outfits they are wearing)” the chat in the screenshot read.

In another screenshot, the person tells Gosavi that 35 officers were waiting for his message. Gosavi purportedly responded saying that he would send an update as the boarding had been delayed by a few hours.

Malik shared another screenshot of a conversation that he claimed was about Kashiff Khan. “Here is a Whatsapp chat between K P Gosavi and an informer which mentions Kashiff Khan. Why is Kashiff Khan not being questioned? What is the relationship between Kashiff Khan and Sameer Dawood Wankhede?” he asked in his tweet.

“Unlike others Kashiff Khan along with a person from Dubai were allowed to board the cruise and were also given a safe passage to return. We want an answer from NCB about why they are shielding Kashiff Khan,” Malik told reporters in a press conference after he tweeted.

Kashiff Khan has clarified to news channels that he has no relation with Wankhede as claimed by Malik.

(With inputs from Manish Pathak and Nadeem Inamadar)

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Monday, November 29, 2021