Police investigating the drugs syndicate within the Kannada film industry (often labelled 'Sandalwood') have told a magistrate court in Bengaluru that those involved in the drugs racket seem to have got a whiff of the fact that police were after them.
In documents submitted to the court while seeking actor Ragini Dwivedi's custody, the police recount conversations on WhatsApp between two of the accused - conversations in which they show they are wise to the police probe on them as early as June 2020.
The conversation is between Ravishankar, the first person arrested in the case who is also a close aide of Ragini, and Prashanth Ranka, listed as A4 (accused #4 of the 12 in the first FIR). The documents show Ravishankar sending a message to Ranka on June 23, telling him "Don't talk to peddlars."
Of course, these are only excerpted chats that are submitted to the court at this time, not the entire conversation.
The chats go on to say "big time tracking is going on," And "got to know from sources yesterday," ending with a "take care. "
One of the messages also mentions "Sandeep Patil sir," the additional commissioner of police heading the crime branch, as possibly the officer leading the investigation. Though the context of how his name came up is not clear.
How the accused persons got to know two months back about the probe in which they are implicated is not clear.
There are also other conversations between Ravishankar and Loum Pepper, a Senegal national who was a supplier, asking for "very very good stuff" and for "2G celebrity stuff." This was around June 12, just about ten days before Ravishankar seems to have got tipped off about the probe.
Another exchange of messages between Ravishankar and Pepper was way back in April, when they seemed to have argued over the quantity of drugs.