Actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son, Aryan, and three others were arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on October 3 afternoon after hours of interrogation following a drug bust on board a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast. Five others were also detained for questioning.
After their arrest, Mr. Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmum Dhamecha were taken for medical tests to Sir J.J. Hospital and then brought back to the NCB office. They were booked under Sections 8C, 20B, and 27 read with 35 of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. Section 8 (c), 20 (b) deals with possession, purchase, sell, transport of drugs; section 27 lays down punishment for consumption of drugs and section 35 deals with intention of dealing with drugs.
All three were produced in a court on October 3 evening, which remanded them in NCB custody till October 4.
According to NCB officials, 13g of cocaine, 5g of MD, 21g of charas and 22 pills of MDMA and Rs. 1.33 lakh in cash was recovered. Based on the information, raids have also been conducted in Belapur area of Navi Mumbai for information on suppliers.
Five others – Nupur Sarika, Ismeet Singh, Mohak Jaswal, Vikrant Chhoker and Gomit Chopra – were also detained for questioning after a October 2 night mid sea operation by NCB officials on board Cordelia Cruise, which was on way to Goa.
Agency sources said a fortnight back they got a tip-off about a party to be organised by a private lifestyle and fashion channel on the cruise to which many VIPs were invited. Following this, 22 NCB officials boarded the ship as guests. Over 1,800 guests were believed to be on board the ship and NCB officials are also likely to call the organiser of the party for questioning, sources said.
"We had an exclusive information which needed to be verified and hence we entered the ship in disguise. After verifying the information, we conducted the raid and detained eight people. We are finding more information about the source of drugs. The whole case will have different layers and this is just the first layer. In coming days, more people could be detained and arrested," said S.N. Pradhan, NCB chief.
Meanwhile, Mr. Jurgen Bailom, CEO and president, Waterways Leisure Tourism Pvt Ltd, said, “By means of this statement, I wish to express that Cordelia Cruises is in no way, directly or indirectly, connected to this incident. Cordelia Cruises had chartered its ship for a private event to a Delhi-based event management company. Cordelia Cruises is extremely mindful of providing wholesome entertainment to families who choose to travel with us. This incident is contrarian and far from the culture that Cordelia Cruises represents. We, at Cordelia Cruises, condemn all acts such as these and will strictly refrain from letting our ship out for similar events in the future. Nonetheless, Cordelia Cruises is extending our full support and cooperating with the authorities."
(With inputs from Raina Assainar)