Aslam Merchant, father of Arbaaz Merchant, said on Tuesday that his son and Aryan Khan, both of whom have been taken into custody by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in connection with the Mumbai drugs-on-cruise-case, were “innocent”.
Dismissing allegations that 5 grams of charas were found on Arbaaz as “baseless”, Aslam said that it is very premature to state anything (about the arrest) at this point in time. “The NCB has been very cooperative and very nice to the kids. I being a lawyer, have faith in the judiciary. The truth will prevail and they will come out scot-free. They are innocent," he told Times Now.
Aslam said that his son and Khan did not even enter the ship, and that they were just guests. “Whatever was found, was found inside the ship, not outside,” he added.
The NCB on Monday claimed that there was that “shocking and incriminating" material recovered in WhatsApp chats of Aryan Khan and two others arrested in connection with the case showed international drug trafficking.
The accused also allegedly discussed payment modes using code words for procuring the drugs, according to the NCB. In reply to this allegation, Aslam said that “there is absolutely no WhatsApp chats related to drugs.”
“They were not even prepared. It was just a last-minute discussion of going to the ship. They were invitees. They just decided out of the blue.” Aslam said that Arbaaz even had breakfast with him on the morning of October 3 and was supposed to have dinner with him. He also said that this was the first trip that Arbaaz and Khan took together.
The NCB got remand of Khan and two other accused from the court till Thursday. Another five accused were arrested earlier, while four more persons were held earlier today. A total of 12 people have been arrested as of October 5.
The NCB team, led by its zonal director Sameer Wankhede, raided the Goa-bound ship on Saturday evening based on a tip-off that a party was scheduled onboard. The sleuths seized 13 grams of cocaine, five grams of MD, 21 grams of charas and 22 pills of Ecstasy and Rs 1.33 lakh.