Drugs case: Kiran Gosavi, NCB's ‘key witness’, arrested in Pune
Kiran Gosavi, the NCB witness in the Mumbai drugs-on-cruise case, was on Thursday arrested in Pune, moments after he was detained in connection with a 2018 cheating case, reported the ANI news agency, citing Amitabh Gupta, the police commissioner of Pune. Confirming the development, Gupta told the news agency, “A charge sheet was filed in the 2018 cheating case in 2019, but if we get more complaints against him, fresh offences will be registered.”
Prabhakar Sail, a bodyguard of NCB witness Kiran Gosavi, had earlier alleged that Gosavi took ₹50 lakh from an individual after the raid at the cruise ship. Gosavi however, has denied the allegations.
According to the agency, Gosavi was absconding in the cheating case, and in 2019, the Pune Police had declared him wanted. He was missing since then and was only spotted during the cruise raid case as an NCB witness. The police had issued a lookout circular against him on October 14, added the ANI report, citing police officials familiar with the matter.
The Pune City police said on Thursday that there is no such demand yet from the Mumbai Police or any other agencies, including the NCB, to hand over Kiran Gosavi to them. Elaborating more on the matter, police commissioner Amitabh Gupta said, “Kiran Gosavi was using Sachin Patil as the alias name. I have not had any word with Narcotics Control Bureau so far, and nor is there any politics involved in this arrest.”
Before being detained, Gosavi was on Thursday quoted by the news agency as saying, “Prabhakar Sail is lying. All I want to request is that his CDR report be released; if my CDR report or chats can be released, Prabhakar Sail and his brother's CDR reports, as well as chats, should also be released. Only then will everything be clear.”
Gosavi further said, “At least one minister or any leader of the opposition from Maharashtra must stand with me.” He said that the politician(s) could “at least request the Mumbai police to release what I am demanding” [the aforementioned CDR and chats of Prabhakar Sail).
“Once his reports come out, everything will clear,” Gosavi added.
Meanwhile, the Mumbai Police recorded over the course of this week the statement of Prabhakar Sail, who is considered an “independent witness” in the NCB. His complaints alleging that NCB officers, including zonal director Sameer Wankhede, probing the drugs case are involved in extortion have been clubbed together with three other complaints filed by lawyers Sudha Dwivedi, Kanishka Jain, and Nitin Deshmukh. A new four-member inquiry team set up by the Mumbai Police, led by assistant commissioner of police Milind Khetle, will be looking into these complaints, officials familiar with the development told the PTI news agency.
The NCB, too, is conducting its own inquiry into the alleged extortion complaints against its officers. A probe team, led by NCB deputy director-general (Northern Region) Gyaneshwar Singh, will investigate allegations of corruption levelled by Prabhakar Sail; the investigation started a day prior through an affidavit. An NCB team from Delhi is also set to question two officers of NCB Mumbai today, along with conducting additional questioning of Wankhede.
A day ago, Gyaneshwar Singh told reporters that the five-member inquiry team of NCB has started investigating the allegations levelled by Prabhakar Sail. “We requested the Southwest region office to get notice served to key witnesses KP Gosavi and Sail but they could not be contacted,” he had said. “Through media, I request them to join the investigation and give evidence before the special inquiry team which is camping at CRPF mess in Bandra, Mumbai.”
However, the probe agency has made it clear that NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede will remain the investigating officer in the drugs-on-cruise case until substantial information is found against him. “If necessary, more evidence and documents will be sought from him,” a senior NCB official was quoted as saying. "He [Wankhede] will remain the investigating officer in the drugs-on-cruise ship case until substantial information is found against him.”