Telugu film actor Tanish Alladi on Monday appeared before the SIT of Telangana’s excise department as part of an ongoing probe into the online drug racket busted by it earlier this month. Tanish, who started his film career as a child artiste, has so far acted in about 19 films. He appeared before SIT sleuths this morning.
The actor is among the 12 personalities, including actors and directors, from the Telugu film industry (popularly known as Tollywood) to be summoned by the SIT in connection with the case.
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 was questioning them to find out if they had any links with the racket as consumers or suppliers or with those arrested, the excise officials earlier said.
Since July 19, the SIT has questioned filmmaker Puri Jagannadh, cinematographer Shyam K Naidu, actors P Subba Raju, Tarun Kumar, P Navdeep and Ravi Teja, actresses Charmi Kaur and Mumaith Khan, art director Dharma Rao alias Chinna, and Srinivasa Rao, who had earlier worked as car driver with Teja.
The proceedings have been videographed and some among those questioned have given consent for taking samples of their body fluids, hair and nails while others refused, an SIT official said.
Excise officials said that those questioned so far have cooperated with the investigators and some of them have even given “certain clues” in connection with the racket.
So far 20 people have been arrested, including a US citizen, a Dutch national, and seven B Tech degree-holders employed with multinational companies in Hyderabad.
Under the racket, high-end drugs such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) were being supplied.
Investigators suspect that the gang’s clientele included nearly 1,000 customers, including students of city-based schools and colleges, people associated with Tollywood, senior officials of MNCs and employees of IT firms in Cyberabad.
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 had said.