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Saturday, October 23, 2021

How NCB raid on cruise ship Cordelia unfolded

Aryan Khan and Arbaaz Merchant, along with a few others, reached the cruise around 3 pm and crossed CISF security check.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
October 8, 2021 3:38:24 am
Kiran Gosavi was seen in a selfie with Aryan Khan, post the latter's arrest in a case pertaining to seizure of drugs from a cruise ship. (PTI)
  • Ship was to depart at 4 pm. Passengers asked to reach around 2-2.30 pm on Saturday to check-in their baggage and go through security checks by CISF before boarding.
  • NCB officers said they received a tip-off about “some persons” having purchased narcotics attending the party at ship. A team of 22 officers, with tickets that cost between Rs 85,000-Rs 3.50 lakh per person, reached the ship posing as passengers.
  • Aryan Khan and Arbaaz Merchant, along with a few others, reached the cruise around 3 pm and crossed CISF security check. The NCB team then apprehended and searched the duo. NCB said six gm of charas was found in Merchant’s shoe, nothing was found on Aryan. The team took Aryan’s phone and detained the duo.
  • Aryan’s lawyer said a couple of friends accompanying him were also not found in possession of any drugs. But while the friends were allowed to leave, Aryan was asked to stay and hand over his phone. The NCB has claimed it immediately downloaded the WhatsApp chats on Aryan’s phone and based on certain incriminating evidence, took him to its office for questioning.
  • Aryan was a special invitee at the ship and was not issued a boarding pass, ticket, cabin or seat number, as per his lawyer.
  • The NCB said initially, the passengers were told that the ship had not left at 4 pm due to technical problems. Later, they were informed about the raid and the agency began search and seizure operations.
  • The NCB team split into various groups and referred to a list with names of suspects, whose rooms were searched. The prosecution told the court that the operation went on from 10 pm to 2 am.
  • The NCB said it detained six persons, including Munmum Dhamecha, and seized narcotics from three spots – two rooms and ship lobby. The team conducted a panchanama at these spots. Ten panchas or independent witnesses accompanied the team.
  • After this, half the NCB team, along with the panchas, took the eight detained people, including Aryan, to the NCB office. Other passengers remained on board the ship that set sail at 5 am on Sunday.
  • As per schedule, the ship was in the Arabian Sea on Sunday and returned to the International Cruise Terminal at Ballard Pier on Monday morning. The NCB team on board the ship then detained two more persons who allegedly consumed hydrophonic weed. They were eventually arrested.
  • Later, NCB arrested six more persons – four of them event organisers and two alleged drug peddlars. They had not been on the ship.

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