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New Delhi: The Union government is reported to have ordered action against former Narcotics Control Bureau officer Sameer Wankhede for what it has described as “shoddy” work while probing the ‘drugs-on-cruise’ case in which Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan was arrested last year.
“Appropriate action is also being initiated against Wankhede for allegedly providing a fake caste certificate,” PTI has reported sources as having said.
Aryan Khan was given a clean chit by the Narcotics Control Bureau in the October 2021 ‘drugs-on-cruise’ case earlier today.
Wankhede is an Indian Revenue Service officer and the finance ministry is the nodal authority in his case.
Wankhede was Mumbai zonal director of the NCB and handled the initial investigation after a much-publicised anti-drugs raid on a cruise. Aryan was arrested by the NCB on October 3 last year in the case.
He was granted bail after almost a month – on October 28 – by the Bombay high court, which dismissed NCB’s arguments and said it can not just rely on WhatsApp messages to make such grave allegations.
In October, two witnesses – Prabhakar Sail and Shekhar Kamble – alleged that NCB officials including Wankhede had made them sign blank papers. While Kamble alleged that he was made to sign on papers which were used to implicate a Nigerian national from whom no drugs were eventually found, Sail had said that the papers he signed pertained to the ‘drugs-on-cruise’ case in which Aryan Khan had been arrested.
Sail also levelled sensational allegations of extortion against those involved in the case, saying that he had overheard K.P. Gosavi – an apparent private detective who was the NCB’s ‘independent witness’ in the case’ – saying that they would ‘settle’ for Rs 18 crore to let off Aryan Khan, of which Rs 8 crore would be paid to Sameer Wankhede.
Sail died of a heart attack in April this year.
On November 6 last year, the NCB headquarters removed Wankhede from the probe and transferred the case from Mumbai to a Delhi-based special investigation team formed under its deputy director-general (operations) Sanjay Kumar Singh.
Officials of the NCB, which filed its chargesheet in a Mumbai court, said the names of Aryan and five others were not there due to “lack of sufficient evidence”.
Wankhede is at present posted in the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Mumbai.