A Bollywood superstar’s son was among 10 people detained during a drug bust by a team of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on a cruise ship off Mumbai coast on Saturday night, top sources told News18. The NCB sleuths, who raided Cordelia cruise after it departed from Mumbai, seized drugs such as cocaine, hashish and MD and found the actor’s son in possession of drugs.
The development, which is bound to send shockwaves through the film fraternity, has been confirmed to News18 by two sources directly aware of the detention. The raids were underway onboard the cruise at the time of publication of this report and further details are awaited.
NCB sources from Mumbai told News18 that the ship was to depart on Saturday for Goa. The agency’s Mumbai zonal director, Sameer Wankhede, received a tip-off, after which he and a team boarded the ship, posing as passengers. When the ship left Mumbai shores and was at mid-sea, a party began where drugs were consumed, said sources.
The NCB officials, present on the ship, immediately started searches and apprehended those consuming drugs and seized the contraband.
The superstar’s son has been detained but not arrested yet. An arrest will depend on whether he had drugs in his possession and was consuming them. Officers have been screening chat messages on his phone, said NCB sources.
The entry fee alone for the party was in the range of Rs 1 lakh, an officer told CNN-News18.
Just last week, NCB’s Mumbai and Goa teams in a joint operation had arrested Bollywood actor Arjun Rampal’s partner Gabriella Demetriades’s brother from Goa in connection with a drugs case. The bureau also seized charas from him, according to sources. Gabriella’s brother Agisilaos Demetriades is of South African nationality and was arrested by the NCB last year, too, as part of its probe into the alleged drug use in Bollywood.
The NCB had launched a probe into the alleged drug use in Bollywood after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June on the basis of WhatsApp chats involving drugs. The central agency had earlier arrested Rajput’s friend, actress Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik, some employees of the late Bollywood actor and a few others under sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. Rhea Chakraborty and some other accused are currently out on bail.
In a separate incident, a few days ago, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had seized two shipping containers at the Mundra Port, located in coastal Gujarat’s Kutch district, that had arrived from Afghanistan with at least Rs 2,000 crore narcotics. Declared at the Customs desk as talcum powder, the DRI took a sample of the product and had the powder analysed. It confirmed the presence of heroin, expected to be worth at least Rs 2,000 crore if not more on the international market.
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Later, the DRI arrested two Afghan nationals in connection with the case. “They have been a part of Afghanistan-Pakistan drug nexus for some time now. Besides the duo, one more person is involved, who handled all export and import. This person had also booked the container," sources had told CNN News18, adding that the third accused left India for Afghanistan in June this year.
(With Inputs from Herman Gomes and Ankur Sharma)
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