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No evidence by NCB to prove they were drug peddlers: Court in bail order of 2 accused in Cordelia cruise case

While Vikrant Chhokar was arrested from the international cruise terminal on October 2, allegedly with non-commercial quantities of three drugs, Okoro Uzeoma was arrested with 14 gram cocaine.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: December 9, 2021 4:26:08 pm
So far, 18 of the 20 arrested have been granted bail. (Source: Cordelia Cruises website)

In two separate orders granting bail to two of the accused arrested in the Cordelia cruise case, a special court said that apart from the statements of the co-accused, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) did not produce any evidence to show that the men were peddlers or involved in illicit trafficking of drugs.

In the recent orders, the court granted bail to Vikrant Chhokar, a resident of Noida and Okoro Uzeoma, a Nigerian national. While Chhokar was arrested from the international cruise terminal on October 2, allegedly with non-commercial quantities of three drugs, Uzeoma was arrested with 14 gram cocaine.

In its detailed order, special Judge V V Patil said NCB had relied on statements of co-accused Abdul Qadir to claim that Uzeoma had provided drugs to him. Qadir was arrested with a commercial quantity of drugs.

The court noted that there is nothing to show that the drugs seized from him were linked to Uzeoma. It said that while the NCB claims that Uzeoma is a peddler, it has failed to bring on record any cogent evidence in that regard, barring a statement. Hence, the court noted that it cannot be accepted that Uzeoma supplied the contraband.

It agreed with the contention put forth by Uzeoma’s lawyer Shalaka Hatode that the seizure is of non-commercial quantity of drugs hence Section 37 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act does not apply and bail can be granted.

For Chhokar, the court said while the NCB had invoked Section 27A of the NDPS Act regarding financing illicit trafficking or harbouring of offenders, there was no evidence to show he was involved in it.


It also said that charges of conspiracy and abetment against both of them could be dealt with in detail during the trial. The court also considered the ground of parity since the other accused have been granted bail in the same case.

So far, 18 of the 20 arrested have been granted bail.

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