The material has become like detective novels with “new twists every moment”: NCB on an anti-drug raid


Mumbai: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), investigating the seizure of prohibited drugs from a cruise ship off the coast of Mumbai, told a court here on Tuesday that the case had become like the novels of Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes with “new twists and turns every moment”.

BCN has so far arrested 16 people, including Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son, Aryan Khan (23), in the drug seizure case.

Earlier on Tuesday, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate RM Nerlikar placed Abdul Qadir Sheikh (30), Shreyas Nair (23), Manish Rajgariya (26) and Avin Sahu (30) in pre-trial detention until October 11 .

The court on Monday returned Aryan Khan and seven others to the custody of the NCB until Thursday.

Before submitting his requests for the removal of the four defendants, Special Prosecutor (SPP) Advait Sethna told the court on Tuesday that this case had become “like the novels of Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes because there is a new twist every time. instant “. .

Returning the four men to BCN custody until October 11, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate RM Nerlikar said given the nature of the offense, a detailed investigation was needed to get to the root of the case .

Sethna then made a request to conduct Sheikh’s removal proceedings in the presence of a limited number of people. To that, the judge replied: “It means you want a closed-door procedure”. The response from the SPP was in the affirmative.

The BCN said that “it was forced to take this step (seeking a procedure in the presence of a limited number of people) because today’s pre-trial detention is already covered ( media) “. The anti-drug agency said it wanted to know how it (the pre-trial detention) was disclosed.

He added that a request had been made to minimize the exposure of the accused. However, the magistrate asked how Sheikh’s identity could be protected when his name is already mentioned in the request for pre-trial detention.

Regarding the BCN regarding the presence of media persons, the court stated that it could not restrict the media and rejected the request.

Seeking custody, Sethna told the court that Sheikh was arrested on Monday in the suburb of Jogeshwari in Mumbai around 6 p.m. and that a commercial quantity (of a drug) was seized from him.

BCN said it seized 2.5g of ecstacy and 54.3g of mephedrone from Sheikh. He was arrested on the basis of information revealed during interrogation in custody of other arrested defendants, Mohak Jaswal, the BCN said.

The agency added that 2g of Charas had been collected from Nair. According to the NCB, Sheikh and Nair are both (drug) suppliers. The other two arrested defendants (Rajgariya and Sahu) were guests on the cruise ship.

In view of the seizures, “a nexus, links, role and involvement of all of these people required further corroboration,” the BCN said.

Sheikh, Nair, Rajgariya and Sahu were counted under sections 8 (c) (producing, manufacturing, possessing, selling or buying drugs) and 27 (punishment for drug or drug use) and 27 A (punishment for financing of illicit traffic and housing offenders) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS).

Lawyer Apoorv Srivastava, representing Sheikh, said his client had become a “scapegoat to hide big faces”.

Srivastava argued that Sheikh did not know Jaswal. The lawyer said he did not understand why Jaswal took the name Sheikh. He added that Sheikh was arrested a day after the drug seizure, which means it was a “premeditated case”.

The lawyer said, however, that Sheikh could be remanded in custody for investigation for a brief period. Advocates for other defendants opposed the PNE’s request for pre-trial detention, claiming either that a small number of drugs had been seized from their clients or that no seizure had been made.

The drug agency has so far arrested 16 people, including Aryan Khan, after raiding the vessel bound for Goa on Saturday. The court on Monday returned Aryan Khan (23) and seven other defendants to the custody of the BCN until Thursday.

The BCN had told the court that “shocking and incriminating” material recovered from the WhatsApp conversations of Aryan Khan and two other people arrested in connection with the case showed international drug trafficking.

BCN also claimed that in WhatsApp chats, Aryan Khan was discussing the payment methods to be made for the purchase (of drugs) and that several code names were used.

Aryan Khan’s lawyer had claimed that the drugs had not been recovered from his client’s possession.

BCN said on Sunday it seized 13 grams of cocaine, five grams of MD, 21 grams of charas and 22 ecstasy pills and Rs 1.33 lakh.

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Posted on: Tuesday October 05, 2021 9:49 PM IST

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