Cruise drugs case: NCB orders vigilance inquiry into 'extortion' affidavit against Sameer Wankhede
Asked if Wankhede will continue to probe the cruise case till this inquiry goes on, Gyaneshwar Singh, the NCB deputy director general (DDG) said
MUMBAI: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has initiated the departmental inquiry against its Zonal Director (Mumbai) Sameer Wankhede in connection with its witness' shocking revelation in a notarized affidavit that Rs 25 crore was demanded by an NCB official and other persons to let off Aryan Khan from this case..
Prabhakar Sail, who is witness number one in the cruise ship raid case, in which actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan has been arrested, in his affidavit revealed that Wankhede, his middle-man Sam D'Souza and KP Gosavi, another panch and employer of Prabhakar had demanded Rs 25 crore from the Bollywood star to release his son in the matter.
He also said that they were even ready to settle at Rs 18 crore and out of that amount, Rs 8 crore was given to Sameer Wankhede and rest was distributed among them. Sail, the personal bodyguard of KP Gosavi, also alleged that Wankhede took the sign of him on blank ten pages to write the panchnama in Aryan Khan's case.
The anti-drug agency's vigilance unit head and Deputy DG (North Region) Gyaneshwar Singh was asked by his chief SN Pradhan to initiate an inquiry into the allegations of 'extortion' made by Sail, an independent witness in the cruise drugs case.
A three-member team of the agency, including Gyaneshwar and two inspector level officers, will go from Delhi to Mumbai on Tuesday to probe the allegations and will record the statements of Wankhede and others. They will also analyse the evidence submitted by Sail and later make a comprehensive report and submit it to Pradhan.
"A report from DDG SWR was received by our DG, he has marked an enquiry to vigilance section…and the Chief Vigilance officer will be dealing with the enquiry appropriately. The enquiry has just begun and hence, we can't comment on any officer," Gyaneshwar said.
Singh said that it is too early to comment on the suspension of Wankhede. "We will check the facts of the case and then the decision over it (Wankhede's suspension) will be taken," he added.
In view of this shocking development, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had called the meeting with home minister Dilip Walse Patil on Monday where it was decided that the case of Prabhakar Sail will be taken seriously by extending security cover to him.
Meanwhile, KP Gosavi who was missing last several days surfaced on Monday and denied the allegation made by his employee and witness Prabhakar Sail. Gosavi said that there is a threat to his life in Mumbai and cannot trust the Maharashtra police so he surrendered in Uttar Pradesh.
On the other hand, Wankhede had approached the sessions court of Mumbai with applications that with respect to Sail's revelations, no actions should be taken. However, the court rejected his plea saying that the matter is already subjudice in High Court therefore the appropriate court will make a decision over it and refuse to entertain it.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that Sam D'Souza is the big fish and does the money laundering work for Wankhede and other people. "So far state minister Nawab Malik has carried out the show, now after the interval, I will overtake it and expose the wrongdoing of NCB and its officers step by step," Raut said.
Malik made another allegation on Monday saying that Sameer Wankhede is a Muslim by birth so he is not entitled to avail the benefits in the reserved category which he did for clearing his civil service exams.
Malik sharing the birth certificate of Sameer Wankhede stated that Sameer's father name is Dawood K Wankhede while his mother name is Zabida Begum Bano and he is 100 per cent Muslim by birth.
"Wankhede got married to Dr Shabana Khureshi in 2006 and has two daughters from her after which he got divorced before marrying a small-time Marathi actress Kranti Redkar. His father is a Hindu-SC but while getting married to his mother, he converted into Muslim using Dawood as his name and did Nikah with her as per Muslim religion therefore on the officer's birth certificate, Muslim is mentioned in the religion column. So, there is no question of a person as Hindi-SC," the NCP leader claimed requested anonymity.
"If the person is Muslim, how come he can avail the SC-reserved category benefits. This is nothing but forgery and cheating. We will approach the court and demand the inquiry by cheating the government and snatching one seat of reserved category person in civil services," Malik alleged.
However, Sameer Wankhede denied the allegations saying that there is a malicious campaign against him and his family members by Malik. Wankhede's second spouse Kranti Redkar defended her husband and said that the truth will prevail.