Drugs on cruise case has Bollywood connection: NCB DG

He said the anti-narcotics agency has widened its probe

INDIA-ENTERTAINMENT-CINEMA-BOLLYWOOD Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan is being escorted by law enforcement officials outside the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) office after he was allegedly brought in for questioning along with others following a raid at a party on a cruise ship, in Mumbai | AFP

The NCB is looking at a 'Bollywood connection' and a larger nexus of narcotics after nabbing eight youngsters, including Aryan Khan, the son of actor Shah Rukh Khan, from a cruise ship in Mumbai on charges of drugs usage and trafficking, agency chief S.N. Pradhan said on Sunday.

He said the anti-narcotics agency has widened its probe and summoned the organisers and event managers of the night party, which was supposed to be held onboard the cruise ship, the management executives of the ship and the owners for questioning in the case and to find out their involvement in it.

Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha have been arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), while five others have been detained and are being questioned after raids were conducted by NCB sleuths in the ship on Saturday night as it was docked at the Mumbai coast and ready to sail for Goa.

The rest five can also be arrested if incriminating evidence under various provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) is found against them, official sources said.

"There is a Bollywood connection and we are investigating all angles of the case. We are looking at the main supplier and the entire cartel behind this drugs case," Pradhan told PTI.

He said the agency will "carry out its probe in a professional manner".

Pradhan said the agency made "painstaking" efforts and had been working on the leads in this case for some time after which a team of 22 NCB officials "posing as passengers" boarded the Cordelia cruise ship and launched the raids, searching for the contraband and carriers.

Drugs like MDMA/ecstasy, cocaine, MD (mephedrone) and charas were recovered by the NCB officials after these searches.

Officials said the NCB team lead by its zonal director Sameer Wankhede identified and nabbed the eight and took them along to the agency office in South Mumbai for questioning.

The ship had a capacity to carry 1,800 passengers, they said.