The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has summoned Sameer Wankhede

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has summoned Sameer Wankhede

NEW DELHI: The CBI has summoned former NCB officer Sameer Wankhede for questioning on Thursday in connection with alleged demand of Rs 25 crore from superstar Shah Rukh Khan to not implicate his son Aryan in the Cordelia cruise ship drug bust case, officials said.

Wankhede, who has been booked along with four others in the case, is likely to appear before the CBI team in Mumbai, they said.

According to details of the FIR made public on Monday, independent witnesses K P Gosavi and Prabhakar Sail, now deceased, were included by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in the Cordelia cruise ship drug raid on October 2, 2021, on the directions of Wankhede.

Gosavi, his aide Sanvile D'Souza and others had entered into the conspiracy to "extort Rs 25 crore" from the family members of Aryan, son of Shah Rukh Khan, by "threatening them of the accusation of offences of possession of narcotics substances."

In order to let him walk free, Gosavi and D'Souza negotiated the amount bringing it down to Rs 18 crore and even collected a token of Rs 50 lakh and returned a part of the amount later, the FIR alleged.

Aryan Khan, who was formally arrested by the NCB on October 3, 2021, after a raid on the Cordelia cruise ship a day before, was granted bail by the Bombay High Court on October 28 after he had spent 25 days in jail. But his name was not included in the list of accused in the NCB charge sheet for lack of evidence.

The SET (special enquiry team) in its findings, now part of the FIR, said Aryan Khan and other suspects were brought to the NCB office in Gosavi's private vehicle on October 2, 2021.

Wankhede, in the capacity of the immediate supervisory officer, had directed to take Gosavi and Sail as the independent witness in the proceedings against the accused in the drug bust case, the FIR states.

He had directed then NCB superintendent V V Singh to let Gosavi "handle the accused" while taking him to the NCB office, thereby "allowing a freehand" to him and others in order to create a visual impression that Gosavi had the custody of the accused, it said.

"It appeared that the presence of the independent witness Gosavi around accused persons was created intentionally in such a manner so as to give an impression that Gosavi was an NCB personnel even though there were NCB personnel to handle the custody of the accused persons," the FIR stated.

Gosavi was allowed to be present in the company of the accused persons and even allowed to come to the NCB office after the raid and took the freedom to click selfies and recorded the voice note of an accused.

This position "allowed" Gosavi and D'Souza to enter into a "conspiracy" with others to allegedly demand the bribe from Shah Rukh Khan, officials added.