NCB arrests one more drug peddler, summons CEO of cruise liner- The New Indian Express

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By PTI

MUMBAI: The Narcotics Control Bureau has arrested one more drug peddler in connection with the seizure of banned drugs from a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast, an NCB official said on Wednesday.

The NCB’s Mumbai zonal unit apprehended the drug peddler from suburban Powai late Tuesday night after his name cropped up during questioning of those arrested earlier in the cruise drug party case, the official said.

With this, the anti-drugs agency has so far arrested 17 people in the case, including Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, and some “high-profile organisers” belonging to a Delhi-based event management company.

Besides Aryan Khan, those arrested by the NCB include Arbaaz Merchant, Munmun Dhamecha, Nupur Satija, Ishmeet Chadha, Mohak Jaiswal, Gomit Chopra, Vikrant Chhokar and a drug supplier from suburban Juhu.

In an operation conducted on Monday and Tuesday, the NCB arrested four organisers belonging to an event management firm, identified as Gopal Jee Anand, Samir Sehgal, Manav Singhal and Bhaskar Arora, It has also arrested Shreyas Nair, Manish Rajgaria and Avin Sahu, the agency earlier said.

The crackdown against drug peddlers and those related to the cruise drug party case is on at various locations in Mumbai and other places.

Earlier, Aryan Khan’s lawyer had claimed no drugs were recovered from his client’s possession.

The NCB on Sunday said they had seized 13 grams of cocaine, five grams of MD, 21 grams of charas and 22 pills of Ecstasy and Rs 1.33 lakh following its raid on the Goa-bound ship.

On Tuesday, family members of some of the arrested accused gathered outside the NCB office in south Mumbai.

Aslam Merchant, the father of Arbaaz Merchant, told media persons that his son and Aryan Khan are innocent.

The NCB on Tuesday told a court here that the matter has become like the novels of Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes with “new twists and turns every moment”.

It has also issued summons to the CEO of Cordelia Cruises in connection with the seizure of banned drugs from the ship off the Mumbai coast last week, an official said on Tuesday.

As the probe is progressing, the NCB has summoned the CEO of the cruise liner to join the investigation, he said.

The NCB is seeking details of the passengers who were present onboard the Goa-bound ship and also examining the CCTV footages to get more evidence against the accused persons, the official said.

He said teams from other zonal units are also assisting the Mumbai NCB.

The NCB had seized 13 grams of cocaine, 5 grams MD, 21 grams Charas, 22 pills of MDMA and Rs 1.33 lakh at the International Cruise Terminal at the Green Gate in South Mumbai, he said.

The NCB has so far arrested 16 persons, including Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, four organisers belonging to a Delhi-based event management company, and others, in connection with this case.

After raiding the ship on Saturday, the NCB’s Mumbai zonal unit started a crackdown on drug peddlers connected with the arrested persons.

The agency sleuths also brought some suspects, including from the cruise ship, to the NCB’s office here for questioning, the official said.

On Sunday, the cruise company had issued a statement distancing itself from the incident.

“Cordelia Cruises is in no way, directly or indirectly, connected to this incident. Cordelia Cruises had chartered its ship for a private event to a Delhi-based event management company,” Jurgen Bailom, Chief Executive Officer and President, Waterways Leisure Tourism Pvt Ltd said in the statement.

“We, at Cordelia Cruises, condemn all acts such as these and will strictly refrain from letting our ship out for similar events in the future. Nonetheless, Cordelia Cruises is extending our full support and cooperating with the authorities,” it added.



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