The SIT of Telangana excise department today questioned Telugu actor P Subba Raju in connection with a high-end drug supply racket, which was busted earlier this month. Raju, who acted in the recent blockbuster “Bahubali 2: The Conclusion”, appeared before the Special Investigation Team at the excise department’s office at Nampally here at 10.30 am, and the questioning was going on till late in the evening. “He is cooperating, and questioning is continuing. We are getting useful information,” Excise Enforcement Director Akun Sabharwal told reporters.
He said names of 17 pubs/bars in Greater Hyderabad region cropped up during the probe, and SIT officials have summoned owners or managers of all such establishments in the area for a meeting tomorrow. “Names of some 17 pubs and bars came up during the interrogation of arrested drug peddlers. But, we have asked (owners/managers of) all the pubs and bars to appear,” Sabharwal said.
Another Telugu actor, Tarun Kumar, would appear before the SIT tomorrow, he said, adding “actress Mumaith Khan will also be present before the SIT on July 27.” Prohibition and Excise Commissioner R V Chandravadan said the investigators were expecting some “important clues” from Raju’s questioning. Raju is among 12 persons from Tollywood, the Telugu film industry, whom the excise department has summoned to appear before the SIT through notices under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act after the drug supply racket was busted in the city on July 2.
So far the SIT has questioned film director Puri Jagannadh and cinematographer Shyam K Naidu. The SIT has arrested 13 people, including US citizen Dundu Anish, a former aerospace engineer who had worked with the NASA, and seven B-Tech degree holders working with various multi-national companies in Hyderabad. The racket supplied high-end drugs such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), and it is suspected that people from the film industry, employees of MNCs and college students were among their customers. Orders were placed through the `Darknet’ (secretive websites or online networks) and the drugs were delivered by courier, the investigators had said.