SIT of Delhi NCB issues summons to Aryan, others in drugs case
After taking over the six cases being investigated by the Mumbai Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), the special investigation team (SIT) of the Delhi NCB has started probe in the cruise drug raid case. The team has summoned actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, his friend Arbaaz Merchant, alleged drug peddler Achit Kumar and several others connected to the case. Arbaaz Merchant and Achit Kumar reached the NCB office in south Mumbai on Sunday, and the agency has been recording their statement.
The SIT headed by IPS Sanjay Singh said, “We have summoned several people including accused and witnesses connected to the case and we are examining them.”
Arbaaz Merchant’s father advocate Aslam Merchant said, “We received the summons on Sunday, the date of issue was mentioned Saturday, hence after getting it we came to the NCB office. We do not have any issue and we are cooperating in the investigation. Good for us that the facts will come out. As per law, the NCB can call any suspects for investigation if they are required to verify certain facts and to maintain transparency in the case.”
An NCB source said, “Summons have been sent to Aryan Khan and we will record his statement in the coming days.”
Aryan, Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha were detained by the NCB on October 2 after a drug raid on a cruise ship. After questioning several hours, Khan, Merchant and Dhamecha were arrested on October 3. Khan and Merchant were sent to judicial custody at Arthur Road Jail on October 7, while Dhamecha was sent to Byculla Women’s Jail. They got bail from Bombay high court on October 28 and Khan was released from jail on October 30, while Merchant and Dhamecha on October 31.
The SIT also visited the cruise ship to verify the facts on Saturday evening. The agency recorded the statement of CISF officials as well as staff members of the cruise ship presented during the raid on October 3. Zonal director Sameer Wankhede was with the team while visiting the cruise ship. “The captain of the cruise ship, nine independent witnesses including Prabhakar Sail as well as other people connected in the case will also be examined,” said Singh.
The SIT was formed on November 5 and NCB chief SN Pradhan issued an order transferring the six cases from NCB’s Mumbai zonal unit to the operations branch from its headquarters to conduct a deeper investigation. The SIT team reached Mumbai on Saturday to take over the probe into six cases, which included the drugs-on-cruise case, in which actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan was arrested by Wankhede.
Singh said SIT will take help of Wankhede who was supervising the case earlier.
The other cases also include the drugs case against Sameer Khan, son-in-law of Maharashtra cabinet minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Nawab Malik. Khan was arrested by NCB in the first week of January 2021 and was released on bail on September 28.
The SIT will also probe the case involving actor Armaan Kohli. An NCB team led by Wankhede had raided Kohli’s Juhu residence on August 28 and recovered a small quantity of cocaine. Kohli was arrested on August 29.
The fourth case to be probed by the SIT was registered by the agency’s Mumbai zonal unit on July 25 when it arrested three persons – Sameer Mukhtar Sayyed alias Sam Langda, Zakir Sayyed alias Zakir Takla alias Zakir Chikna and Mohammad Amed Shamsuddin Shaikh and allegedly seized 1.2kg of charas, an intermediate quantity of mephedrone along with ₹17.5 lakh in cash from them. NCB claimed that Sameer Merchant alias Sam Langda was a notorious, organised drug mafia member.
The fifth case on the list was registered in September when NCB recovered an intermediate quantity of mephedrone, whereas the sixth case related to the recovery of mephedrone from Dongri area in south Mumbai.