The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), which had on Wednesday arrested Sameer Khan, the son-in-law of NCP leader and Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik, told the court on Thursday that Khan and a British national, Karan Sajnani, were planning to sell cannabis-related products online “under the guise of herbal products”.
According to NCB, the two accused were trying to circumvent provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act by passing off the products as a “herbal mix”.
The agency alleged that Khan was a financier and partner in the business and had been charged under Section 27 (A) of the NDPS Act, which is linked to financing.
He was remanded to police custody till Monday, while the three other accused in the case, including Sajnani, were sent to NCB custody till Saturday.
Earlier in the day, Malik said on Twitter that the law would take its due course. “Nobody is above the law and it should be applied without any discrimination. Law will take its due course and justice will prevail. I respect and have immense faith in our judiciary,” he tweeted.
An NCB officer said that they have submitted WhatsApp chats and bank documents to the court that point to a “partnership” between Khan and Sajnani to distribute “marijuana-related products under the guise of herbal products”.
Sajnani, who was based in Hong Kong before Britain, had returned to India after his business suffered losses. “Here, he met his childhood friend, Khan, nearly 15 months ago and conspired to source and sell marijuana-related products,” the officer said.
The plan was to import marijuana from Seattle in the US via courier and then mix it with tobacco and CBD oil and sell the same as herbal products. It was while receiving one such order that NCB officers received a tip-off and raided Sajnani’s house.
Khan’s lawyer Taraq Sayyed, however, denied the allegations. He told the court that Sajnani and Khan were acquaintances and had discussed many business ideas, including those linked to tobacco. They had nothing to do with marijuana, he claimed, adding that there wasn’t anything substantial in Sayyed’s statement recorded by the NCB. “There was no marijuana or CBD oil involved and there was no agreement between the duo,” Sayyed said.