Aryan Khan case : Probe reveals inconsistencies by Wankhede’s team and gaps in the drugs-on-cruise investigation.

Aryan Khan case : Probe reveals inconsistencies by Wankhede’s team and gaps in the drugs-on-cruise investigation.

Aryan Khan case, 3,000-page internal vigilance report has been delivered to NCB director general Satya Narayan Pradhan, according to the bureau’s chief vigilance officer, deputy director general Gyaneshwar Singh.

Aryan Khan son of Actor Shah Rukh Khan was arrested last October by the former zonal head of the agency Sameer Wankhede.
Aryan Khan son of Actor Shah Rukh Khan was arrested last October by the former zonal head of the agency Sameer Wankhede.

Aryan Khan son of Actor Shah Rukh Khan was arrested last October by the former zonal head of the agency Sameer Wankhede. According to a senior NCB official, the vigilance division of the agency has discovered irregularities in the drug bust investigation on the Cordelia cruise ship.

A second official said the vigilance department’s report was compiled after recording the statements of around 65 people, including Shah Rukh Khan’s manager Pooja Dadlani. The report found several procedural lapses in the drug bust investigation as well as other cases probed by Wankhede, who headed the Mumbai zonal office of the agency.

On October 2, 2021, Wankhede and a team of NCB officials conducted a raid on the cruise ship Cordelia, which led to the arrest of 20 people, including Aryan Khan who spent 28 days in jail before he was given bail by the Bombay high court.

In May, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), Wankhede’s parent cadre, transferred him to the office of director general of taxpayers’ services (DGTS) in Chennai. A special investigation team (SIT) under NCB’s then DDG Sanjay Kumar Singh re-investigated the entire case and initial arrests made by Wankhede’s team after allegations surfaced that attempts were made to extort money from Aryan Khan. The SIT said it found that the Mumbai NCB team’s action had many “grave irregularities” and that they were allegedly just trying to “implicate” Aryan in this case.

In an exclusive report in March, HT had reported that contrary to the allegations of NCB’s Mumbai unit, some of the key findings of the SIT included that Aryan Khan was never in possession of drugs. Hence, there was no need to take his phone and check his chats. The chats did not suggest Khan was part of any international syndicate.

The raid on the yacht was not video-recorded as mandated and the drugs recovered from multiple accused arrested in the case were shown as single recovery.

Wankhede led a team of officers and some witnesses on the night of October 2 to raid the cruise ship at International Cruise Terminal at Green Gate in Mumbai. It seized 13 grams of cocaine, five grams of mephedrone, 21 grams of marijuana, 22 pills of MDMA (ecstasy), and ₹1.33 lakh in cash from the vessel. Seven months after arresting 20 people, the NCB exonerated Aryan Khan and five others and charged 14 people in case.

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