Updated: November 11, 2021 7:01:32 am
The NCB SIT on Wednesday recorded the statement of UK national Karan Sajnani, who was arrested along with Sameer Khan, the son-in-law of NCP Minister Nawab Malik, in a narcotics case in January.
Sajnani and Khan were released on bail on September 27 by the Bombay High Court. Malik has alleged irregularities and malafide by NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede in registering the case against Khan and arresting him.
The Sameer Khan case is one of six taken from Wankhede and handed over to the SIT set up by the central drugs agency, as part of its investigations into allegations made against the NCB officer by Malik and a panch witness in the cruise ship drug raid case.
Wankhede’s team has already filed a chargesheet in the Sameer Khan case. Other than Sajnani, the SIT will also be summoning others in the case, including Khan, to record their statements.
Advocate Sana Raees Khan, representing Sajnani, said, “Karan Sajnani says that SIT is a very fair unit, very cooperative, not biased… Asked him relevant questions, there was no pressure on making any statements, they were very keen on understanding the nature of the products seized and very interested to understand how the herbal products were marketed and where the packaging material came from.”
She added, “The SIT asked whether Sameer Khan is a part of Karan’s business and Karan has denied it… Karan has been denying it from day one. He told the SIT that Sameer is his friend since 25 years. Karan is happy that the investigation was conducted with such professionalism by SIT. He said his full faith has been restored towards NCB because of the new SIT unit.”
Karan has been called again on Friday by the NCB, she said.
Speaking to mediapersons after recording his statement, Sajnani said he never dealt in drugs, and only herbal tobacco was found in his possession.
A British citizen, Sajnani added that he had written to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson for help. “I am touch with the Home Secretary of UK, Priti Patel. They have asked me to get in touch with the UK High Commission and are willing to provide help regarding the case,” he said.
While granting bail to Sajnani and Khan in September, the HC had observed that based on CA (Chemical Analyzers) report, prima facie the charge of being in possession of commercial quantity – for which they were booked – cannot be made out. The court had said 11 of the 18 samples had tested negative for cannabis, which means 194.265 kg of the 194.6 kg material seized were not narcotic drugs.
This led the narcotic seizure to fall in the bracket of “intermediate quantity” and not commercial quantity as mentioned by NCB, the HC had said.
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