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Cruise drugs case: NCB orders vigilance probe into ‘bribery’ charges against Sameer Wankhede

The witness, Prabhakar Sail, claimed on Sunday that he had heard K P Gosavi, the alleged private investigator who accompanied NCB officials on the raid, said that Rs 8 crore would have to be given to the Wankhede.

Sameer Wankhede. (Express Photo/Ganesh Shirsekar)

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has ordered a vigilance probe against zonal director Sameer Wankhede after a witness in the alleged drugs case involving actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan accused him of bribery. The witness also claimed that NCB officers made him sign on 10 sheets of blank paper on the day of their raid on the cruise ship.

The inquiry will be conducted by Gyaneshwar Singh, the NCB deputy director general (DDG) of northern region based at its headquarters.

“We have received the affidavit and a report from our DDG (northwest) based in Mumbai and the NCB director general has taken cognisance of this report. He has marked it to the vigilance section for inquiry. We are a professional organisation and we are open for inquiry against any allegation against our staffers. The inquiry will be transparent and fair,” Gyaneshwar Singh told PTI.

Asked if Wankhede will continue to probe the cruise case till this inquiry goes on, Singh said the question was “premature and we will take a call as the inquiry progresses and evidences are gathered”, adding that the inquiry is yet to begin and Wankhede has not been summoned yet.

Officials said the NCB inquiry will look at all aspects of the claims made by Sail and will also record the version of Wankhede and other officers of the Mumbai zonal unit involved in this drugs bust case. The inquiry team may also question Sail, they said.

The witness, Prabhakar Sail, also claimed on Sunday that he had heard K P Gosavi, the alleged private investigator who accompanied NCB officials on the raid, said that Rs 8 crore would have to be given to the Wankhede. Gosavi, who too is an NCB witness in the case against Aryan and others, is absconding.

On Monday, Sail visited the police commissioner’s office in Mumbai.

Sameer Wankhede, who is heading the NCB investigations in the case, sent a complaint to the Commissioner of Mumbai Police on Sunday seeking protection from “unknown persons” who he said were trying to frame him in a false case. The NCB and Wankhede also approached a special court in Mumbai against the allegations. The anti-drugs agency and Wankhede in their affidavits said this was an attempt to create hurdles and scuttle the investigation in the case.

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