Executing a notice issued by the Interpol, the Mumbai Crime Branch has recorded the statement of Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan. According to sources, the Bulgarian government had recently written to the Interpol to record Khan’s statement in connection with a wild boar hunting case in which the actor’s agent has been booked by the Bulgarian police, sources told The Indian Express.
The sources added that Khan’s statement was recorded as a witness. A senior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that earlier this month, a team from the Bandra unit of the Mumbai Crime Branch recorded the actor’s statement. It is not clear if the same has been forwarded to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), India’s nodal agency for the Interpol.
“The actor is a witness in a hunting case probed by the Bulgarian police. After the communication from the Interpol was received, the crime branch, Bandra unit, was asked to record the actor’s statement. A team of the Mumbai Crime Branch sleuths from the unit visited the actor’s suburban residence and recorded his statement,” the official, who is privy to the development, said while requesting anonymity.
Another official added that the Bulgarian police had recently booked an agent who organised a hunting of a wild boar for the actor, but the required licences and permits for the same were not allegedly taken. “The agent has been booked for organising a hunt… without the requisite permits and licence. The interpol has sought details on the case from the actor,” added the official. Calls and messages to the actor did not elicit any response.
Wild boar hunting is categorized as ‘big game’ hunting. Bulgaria allows two kinds of wild boar hunting – stalking and drive hunting. According to local rules, the State Forestry Agency can issue a licence valid for one month to foreigners with a short-stay visa if the applicant can provide a valid hunting licence from their country of origin. If resident foreigners don’t hold a hunting licence, they need to take a theory and practical hunting exam and get a permit for a weapon.
In April, a Jodhpur court had convicted actor Salman Khan in the 1998 case of blackbuck poaching and handed him a five-year jail term, while acquitting co-accused Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam and Tabu due to lack of evidence.
Salman Khan and his colleagues were charged under Section 9 of The Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act. The law states hunting as an offence and it says, “No person shall hunt any wild animal specified in Schedule, I, II, III and IV”.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines