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Home / India News / On quiet visit to Mumbai, NCB boss preps for crackdown in Bollywood drugs case

On quiet visit to Mumbai, NCB boss preps for crackdown in Bollywood drugs case

The NCB, which plans to make the second round of arrests over the next two weeks, is expected to target Bollywood celebrities as well as drug suppliers to Mumbai

india Updated: Oct 23, 2020, 14:28 IST
Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Narcotics Control Bureau director general Rakesh Asthana’s Mumbai visit comes ahead of a planned crackdown on use of drugs in Bollywood
Narcotics Control Bureau director general Rakesh Asthana’s Mumbai visit comes ahead of a planned crackdown on use of drugs in Bollywood(Arun Sharma/HT PHOTO)

Narcotics Control Bureau director general Rakesh Asthana returned to the national capital Delhi on Friday after a quiet visit to Mumbai to review investigations by the federal agency in the drugs trafficking case launched after Sushant Singh Rajput’s death in June this year, people familiar with the matter said.

Asthana’s overnight visit to Mumbai comes ahead of a crackdown being planned by the NCB that is expected to target celebrities in Bollywood and the drug suppliers. “You can expect some action in the next two weeks,” a senior NCB official told Hindustan Times, declining to reveal details at this stage.

The NCB has already arrested more than 20 people in this case including actor Rhea Chakraborty who was released on bail earlier this month after spending nearly a month behind bars. Her brother is still in jail after the Mumbai high court, which set her free, ruled that Showik appeared to be “an important link in the chain of drug dealers”.

Also Read: Delhi next on NCB radar to launch Mumbai-style crackdown on drugs

Well before Rhea Chakraborty walked out of prison, the NCB had already expanded the ambit of its probe to cover other celebrities as well. Actors Deepika Padikone, Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor and Rakul Preet Singh, fashion designer Simone Khambatta and celebrity manager Shruti Modi were questioned last month.

“There has been forward movement in the investigation, both on the demand side from Bollywood as well as the supply side,” an official familiar with the probe said. There are people who have a day job in the film industry but are also involved in the drugs racket, the official said.

On the supply side, the NCB has already busted a module in Kerala’s Kasaragod that was linked to the Bollywood case and is tracking down the main narcotics suppliers to Mumbai.

Also Read: 142 drug syndicates, heroin trade under NCB’s scanner

Asthana, who spent most of his time hopping from one meeting to another, was told that investigators had been able to establish the heroin and amphetamine were making their way to Mumbai either through Afghanistan-Pakistan channel or via Mozambique-Maldives-Sri Lanka route. cocaine comes from South America, either via South Africa and other African countries.

The NCB has already reached out to their counterparts in the United States, Britain, Canada and South Africa - to take action against the traffickers in related cases.

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