Cruise drugs case| Witness alleges NCB official demanded ₹25 crore from Shah Rukh Khan to release his son; agency denies claim

Cruise drugs case| Witness alleges NCB official demanded ₹25 crore from Shah Rukh Khan to release his son; agency denies claim
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The independent witness alleged that Shah Rukh Khan was demanded ₹25 crore for the release his son, NCB official termed the claim to be “completely false and malicious”.

An independent witness in the cruise drugs seizure case on Sunday claimed that an official of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and some other persons demanded ₹25 crore from Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan to release his son Aryan Khan in the case.

Prabhakar Sail, a witness in the case, told mediapersons that NCB officials also asked him to sign nine to ten blank papers.

However, an NCB official denied the allegations, terming them as “completely false and malicious”.

NCB’s zonal director Sameer Wankhede earlier this month led the agency’s ‘drug bust’ on a cruise ship following which Aryan Khan was arrested on October 3. He is currently lodged in the Arthur Road jail here.

Also read: Visit to Shah Rukh Khan’s house not a raid, says NCB

Recently, the Pune police issued a lookout circular against K.P. Gosavi, another independent witness of the NCB in the cruise drugs case who used to offer people jobs abroad, in a 2018 cheating case.

On Sunday, Mr. Sail alleged that an official of the NCB, Mr. Gosavi and another person, named Sam D’Souza, had demanded ₹25 crore from Shah Rukh Khan to release his son.

Mr. Sail, who is the personal bodyguard of Mr. Gosavi and accompanied him on the night of the raid, said after Aryan Khan was brought to the NCB office, Mr. Gosavi met Mr. D’Souza.

Mr. Sail claimed he heard Mr. Gosavi telling Mr. D’Souza over phone about a demand of ₹25 crore and to settle at ₹18 crore as they “have to give eight crore rupees to Sameer Wankhede”.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Minister and NCP spokesman Nawab Malik, who has repeatedly termed the cruise drugs bust case as “fake”, said Mr. Sail’s claims were “very serious” and demanded a probe into it by a Special Investigation Team (SIT).

Talking to reporters in Beed, Mr. Malik reiterated his allegation that Mr. Wankhede was involved in “extortion and terrorising the Mumbai film industry”, and said he will meet the Chief Minister and Home Minister on Monday in Mumbai seeking a SIT probe into Mr. Sail’s claims.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut in a tweet said, “Witness in Aryan Khan case made to sign on blank paper by NCB is shocking. Also there are reports that there was demnd of huge money. CM UddhavThackeray said that these cases are made to defame Maharashtra. This seems to be coming true. Police should take suo moto cognizance.”

Maharashtra Congress spokesman Atul Londhe said Mr. Sail’s allegation substantiated the party’s charge that central agencies were being against the opposition parties. He demanded that the Supreme Court take appropriate action against the misuse of agencies politically.

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