HYDERABAD: Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials, who took up the 2017 drugs case involving Tollywood actors, reportedly consulted Excise officials by meeting the department’s enforcement team to inquire into ‘money transactions’ in the case. The ED officials reportedly possessed papers in connection with the Narcotic Cell’s investigation of Bollywood actors in drugs cases in Mumbai last year.
Months after the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the State-run Excise and Prohibition Department filed its chargesheet, giving a clean chit to many Tollywood actors and actresses in the case, ED officials have been keeping an eye on illegal money transactions made in purchasing drugs from international drug peddlers. Sources said that crores of rupees were collected from high profile customers, members of the film fraternity and employees of Information Technology (IT) industry were allegedly sent to foreign countries illegally via the hawala method.
Sources said that ED officials have asked the Excise Department officials to submit either soft or hard copies of Whatsapp data that was retrieved from Tollywood actors’ mobile phones, including chats with some pub owners in the city.
“The key accused in the drug case, Kelvin Mascarenhas, and two others, carried out illegal transactions regularly through their international links,” said a source. The SIT had booked 12 cases based on Kelvin’s call and Whatsapp data and arrested 30 people. It had questioned more than 15 Tollywood actors in connection with purchasing drugs from Kelvin in 2017. However, the actors were not named in the chargesheet filed.