October 7, 2021 3:19:41 am
The NCB on Wednesday produced four persons before the court alleging that they were an “integral part of organising the event” on the cruise ship where an alleged drug racket was busted on October 2. They were sent to NCB custody till October 14.
The agency has invoked stringent Section 27A (harbouring and illicit drug trafficking) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act against the four, alleging that they “gave shelter” to those found in possession of the contraband seized from the ship.
Special Public Prosecutor Advait Sethna told the court that the four men – Samir Sehgal and Manav Singhal, directors of Kin Plus Private Limited, and their two associates Bhaskar Arora and Gopal Jee Anand – played an active role in organising the event.
Sethna added that with their help, NCB had to probe how the accused boarded the ship and what happened before and after Saturday’s raid. He added that the central agency wanted to look into the sale of tickets and distribution of passes and also confront the four with other co-accused.
Lawyers Harsh Gangurde and Sajal Yadav said that the four accused did not organise the event but were contractors and that no drugs were found on them.
The four accused, meanwhile, filed a plea stating that they were taken into custody around 7 am on October 4 but were only shown as arrested on October 5 around 5.30 pm. The plea alleged that the four being taken to court on Wednesday was in violation of their fundamental rights and amounted to illegal custody. It added that while they had repeatedly requested that they be taken for blood tests, but to no avail. he court said that considering the timing on the arrest memo, the plea cannot be considered.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale was on Wednesday asked about Covid-19 guidelines allegedly not being followed on board the ship. He said the police would check CCTV camera footage and if there are any violations, necessary action will be taken.
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