Sameer Wankhede arrives at CBI office for questioning in cruise drugs case

The Bombay High Court has directed the CBI not to take any “coercive action”, such as arrest, against Sameer Wankhede till May 22.

Sameer Wankhede
File photo dated Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020 of IRS officer Sameer Wankhede, in Mumbai. (PTI Photo)

Former Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Mumbai zonal director Sameer Wankhede arrived at the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) Mumbai office on Saturday, for questioning in connection with the Cordelia cruise ‘drug bust’ case. He is accused of demanding Rs 25 crore bribe from superstar Shah Rukh Khan for not implicating his son Aryan Khan in the drugs case.

He reached the CBI office in Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) around 10.15 AM. While entering the office, he told media persons, “Satyamev Jayate” (truth alone triumphs).”

On Thursday, The CBI had summoned him for questioning on Thursday in connection with the case, but he did not appear that day. A day later, the IRS officer approached the Bombay High Court seeking quashing of the FIR, which directed the central probe agency not to take any “coercive action”, such as arrest, against Wankhede till May 22.

Speaking to the reporters after the hearing, the former NCB officer said, “Vande Mataram. I have full faith in the judiciary and I will cooperate with the investigation.” Wankhede also alleged that some “changes” have been made in the chargesheet that was filed by NCB in the Aryan Khan case, reported ANI.

Wankhede claimed in his petition, that the action in the Aryan Khan case is being taken out of “revenge”. “There was an allegation of corruption against me earlier also and at that time the Mumbai Police investigated it and did not find any evidence against me. Nothing will be found even on the allegations by CBI,” Wankhede had said in the petition.

CBI had booked Wankhede and four others on May 11 for alleged criminal conspiracy and threat of extortion, besides under provisions pertaining to bribery under the Prevention of Corruption Act on a complaint by the NCB.

The agency alleged that the NCB’s Mumbai zone office had received information in October 2021 regarding narcotics on the Cordelia cruise ship, and some NCB officers had conspired to get bribes from the accused in return for letting them off.

On October 3, 2021, Aryan Khan was arrested by the NCB, following alleged drug seizure on board the cruise ship. Three weeks later, he was granted bail after the anti-drugs agency failed to substantiate its charges against him.

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First published on: 20-05-2023 at 12:03 IST