Popular Telugu film actor Ravi Teja today appeared before the Telangana Prohibition and Excise Department’s special investigation team (SIT) in connection with a high-end online drug racket busted by it.
Teja is among the 12 personalities, including directors and actors, from the Telugu film industry summoned by the SIT which is questioning several people as part of cases registered in connection with the racket.
The actor, who is popularly called as ‘Mass Maharaja’ by his fans, has featured in many films, including “Amma Naana O Tamila Ammayi”, “Dubai Seenu”, “Kick” and “Don Seenu”.
His family members earlier said he does not take drugs.
Teja has acted in several movies directed by Puri Jagannadh, who was the first person from the film industry to be questioned recently.
During the investigation into the drug racket that was busted here on July 2, names of some members of the Telugu film industry had cropped up, the SIT earlier said.
Since July 19, the SIT has questioned filmmaker Puri Jagannadh, cinematographer Shyam K Naidu, actors P Subba Raju, Tarun Kumar and P Navdeep, actresses Charmi Kaur and Mumaith Khan, and art director Dharma Rao alias Chinna.
The SIT had two days back arrested a Dutch national, Mike Kamminga (33), in connection with the ongoing investigation into a case of drugs being supplied in Hyderabad, and claimed to have seized psychotropic substances from him.
The SIT sleuths yesterday conducted raids in different parts of the city.
The Excise officials have so far arrested 20 people, including US citizen Dundu Anish, a former aerospace engineer who has worked with the NASA, and seven BTech degree-holders employed with multi-national companies in Hyderabad.
As a part of the racket, high-end drugs like lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) were being supplied. The investigators suspect that film personalities, employees of MNCs, school and college students were among the clients.
The racketeers placed orders through ‘Darknet’ (a restricted online network frequently used in illegal activities) and the drugs were delivered by couriers, including from overseas, the officials said.