In an affidavit, witness Prabhakar Sail alleged that there was a conversation of pay-offs to Sameer Wankhede, which the NCB officer has denied.

Screenshot of video tweeted by Sanjay Raut which shows KP Gosavi and Aryan Khan in the NCB officeScreengrab from video tweeted by Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut
news Crime Sunday, October 24, 2021 - 17:30

An independent witness in the cruise ship drugs case, being probed by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in which actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan has been jailed, has alleged that he was forced to sign around 10 blank papers as a ‘panch’ or witness at the NCB office in Mumbai. Prabhakar Sail submitted a signed affidavit saying that he is a personal bodyguard of Kiran Gosavi, the reported private investigator who was seen in the viral selfie with Aryan Khan, and alleged a threat to his life. Sail has said that Gosavi has been missing since his selfie went viral and he fears a ‘similar fate’.

Sail is one of the two people who had signed the NCB evidence note after the drugs probe agency had seized some quantities of contraband from Arbaaz Merchant, who is Aryan’s friend and a co-accused in the case. KP Gosavi was the other noted witness in the same.

“At around 1.00 am, I received a call from KP Gosavi instructing me that I should sign as pancha and called me to the NCB office. I reached there and Sameer Wankhede instructed the staff to take my signatures and name. One Salekar from NCB told me sign on 10 blank papers (sic),” Sail said in the affidavit that was released to the media on Sunday, October 24, adding that the man named Salekar asked him for a copy of his Aadhaar card as well.

In the affidavit, Sail detailed the events that led to Aryan Khan’s arrest, and also alleges that there was a conversation of a pay-off to Sameer Wankhede, the NCB officer who is probing the cruise ship drugs case. He alleges in the affidavit that Gosavi and an individual named Sam D’Souza had decided that they “have to give 8 crores to Sameer Wankhede”.

“KP Gosavi was talking to Sam on the phone and stated that you put a bomb of 25 crores and lets settle at 18 final because we have to give 8 crores to Sameer Wankhede (sic),” Sail added in the affidavit.

Sail also alleges in the affidavit that he saw Shah Rukh Khan’s manager, Pooja Dadlani, talking to KP Gosavi in a car. After the meeting, Gosavi told him to go to a location and pick up Rs 50 lakh in cash. Sail said that someone in a white Innova gave him two bags filled with cash, which he took to Gosavi. He added that he then saw Gosavi pack his bags and leave. Later, Gosavi gave him one bag filled with cash and asked him to give it to Sam D’Souza. However, when Sam counted the money, it was only 38 lakhs, he added.

“I say that KP Gosavi is missing now and I now fear that NCB officials and other persons involved may kill me or abduct me like KP Gosavi. As seen in the big cases, witnesses often are killed or taken away and I therefore want to state the truth, (sic)” Sail said in the affidavit.

After the revelations emerged, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut took to Twitter to share a video that Prabhakar Sail has claimed was shot by him on the night Aryan Khan was arrested and taken to the NCB office. In the video, Kiran Gosavi is seen holding up a phone next to Aryan Khan, and Aryan is seen saying something into the phone. It is not clear what was being said. Terming Sail’s allegation that he was made to sign on a blank paper as shocking, Sanjay Raut said that the Mumbai police should take suo motu cognisance of these allegations.

NCB officer denies allegations

NCB officer Sameer Wankhede has denied the allegations made in the affidavit filed by Prabhakar Sail, a statement issued by the Deputy Director General of the NCB’s Mumbai Unit on Sunday said. DDG Mutha Ashok Jain said that the affidavit has been forwarded to the Director General of the NCB for further action as deemed necessary.

“Our zonal director, Mumbai Zonal Unit, Mr. Sameer Wankhede has categorically denied these allegations. As some of the contents of the affidavit relate to vigilance matters, I am hereby by forwarding the affidavit to Director General Narcotics Control Bureau and requesting him for further necessary action (sic),” the statement says.

The allegations that Sail made were of the day Aryan Khan was taken to the NCB office in Mumbai — the night of October 2 — where he was first questioned by the agency. Aryan Khan and two others with him — Arbaaz Merchant and model Munmun Dhamecha — were formally arrested on October 3. The NCB has so far arrested 20 persons after raiding a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast on October 2 and allegedly seizing narcotic drugs.

A few days after Aryan Khan’s arrest, actor Ananya Panday was also questioned by the agency in connection with the case. Shah Rukh Khan's manager Pooja Dadlani was also seen visiting the NCB office in Ballard Estate in south Mumbai a few days ago.

Three days ago, actor Shah Rukh Khan visited the jail where son Aryan has been lodged after a Mumbai court rejected his bail application. On the same day, an NCB team had visited the actor's residence ‘Mannat’ in suburban Bandra. Aryan Khan has now moved the Bombay High Court for bail and it is expected that these new revelations will also be cited in court when the High Court hears the plea on October 26.

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