CBI quizzes Sameer Wankhede for 5 hrs in probe for demanding bribe from Shah Rukh Khan in cruise drug case
Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday questioned Sameer Wankhede, the former zonal director of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), for nearly five hours for allegedly demanding Rs 25 crore as a bribe for not framing Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan in the drugs-on-cruise case, media reported.
The interrogation come after the Bombay High Court directed the central agency that no coercive action should be taken against Wankhede in the bribery case until May 22.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday filed a corruption case against Sameer Wankhede, the anti-narcotics officer, who arrested superstar Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan in connection with the alleged drugs-on-cruise case two years ago.
Wankhede left the CBI office around 1.15 pm and reported back by 2.15 pm. He was questioned till 4.30 pm, reported Indian Express.
Indian Express quoted a CBI source as saying, “We wanted to question him and get more details in this matter.”
As per media reports, NCB sources have said that it is considered against the conduct rules of the Narcotics Control Bureau for Sameer Wankhede to share chats in court. They questioned how an investigating officer could engage in such chats with the family of the accused.
The sources also claim that Wankhede failed to inform his superiors about these chats at the time or document them.
Furthermore, they stated that he did not disclose these chats to the vigilance team investigating his alleged misconduct.
Meanwhile, Sameer Wankhede said that he has full faith in the central government and the CBI.
Wankhede is a 2008-batch Indian Revenue Service officer.
According to the lawyer representing Sameer Wankhede, both Aryan Khan and his father Shah Rukh Khan had already informed the court that there was no evidence of extortion involving a sum of Rs 25 crore, Mint reported.
The lawyer clarified that Wankhede was not seeking interim bail but rather requesting protection from potential arrest until the following week, it added.
On October 2, 2021, Sameer Wankhede, serving as the Mumbai zonal director of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), headed a team of officers in a raid on the Cordelia cruise ship near the Mumbai coast.
Following the operation, the NCB reported the seizure of 13 grams of cocaine, 5 grams of mephedrone, 21 grams of marijuana, 22 pills of MDMA, and Rs 1.33 lakh in cash.
As a result of the raid, 17 individuals, including Aryan Khan, son of actor Shah Rukh Khan, were arrested by the agency.
Wankhede and others had allegedly demanded Rs. 25 crore bribe for not framing Aryan Khan in the alleged drug bust, said officials.
The CBI conducted searches across Mumbai, Delhi, Ranchi, and Kanpur.
Wankhede was the Mumbai zonal chief of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) when he and others raided a cruise ship off the city's coast in 2021.
Aryan Khan, who spent four weeks in jail, was cleared of all charges by the anti-drugs agency in May 2022 due to a "lack of sufficient evidence".
Earlier, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by the anti-drugs agency claimed the probe led by Wankhede had several lapses.
Wankhede was transferred to the Directorate General of Taxpayer Services in Chennai in May last year.
Support Our Journalism
We cannot do without you.. your contribution supports unbiased journalism
IBNS is not driven by any ism- not wokeism, not racism, not skewed secularism, not hyper right-wing or left liberal ideals, nor by any hardline religious beliefs or hyper nationalism. We want to serve you good old objective news, as they are. We do not judge or preach. We let people decide for themselves. We only try to present factual and well-sourced news.