NCB extortion case: Gosavi to surrender; alleges 'threat to life'
Kiran P Gosavi, a witness in Mumbai's Cordelia Cruise drugs case, is likely to surrender to the police soon. Gosavi reportedly said there is a threat to his life. He also denied extortion allegations that he and an official of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) accepted a bribe to release Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan, arrested in the drugs case.
Why does this story matter?
The drugs case took a different turn on Sunday when Gosavi's bodyguard, Prabhakar Sail, leveled extortion allegations in an affidavit. Sail, also a witness, claimed that Gosavi, NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede, and one Sam D'Souza were planning to take Rs. 18 crore in exchange for Khan's release. If true, the allegations could have grave repercussions for the central agency and its functioning.
Bribery claims 'fabricated,' sys Gosavi
Gosavi has told multiple publications that he will be surrendering shortly in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, because he does not feel safe in Mumbai. Missing since the drug raid on October 2, Gosavi claimed there was a threat to his life. Gosavi described the extortion allegations as "fabricated stories" and an attempt to derail the probe. He said he is receiving threatening calls.
No jurisdiction to arrest Gosavi: Lucknow Police
Gosavi told NDTV that he had never met Wankhede before October 2. Lucknow Police Commissioner told the publication that the city police has no jurisdiction to arrest Gosavi. Pune Police has been on the lookout for Gosavi—also accused in a 2018 cheating case.
What are the bribery allegations?
In his affidavit, Sail alleged that he overheard conversations between Gosavi and D'Souza to ask for "25 crore" and settle at "18 crore," from which, "eight crore" will be given to Wankhede. Sail said they then met Pooja Dadlani, SRK's manager, and later procured two bags full of cash. Sail further said he was made to sign 10 blank papers at the NCB office.
Wankhede to meet NCB DG tomorrow
The NCB said Wankhede rejected the allegations and described Sail as a "hostile witness." The probing agency has launched a vigilance probe into the allegations. Wankhede has reached Delhi where he will be meeting NCB Director General Satya Narayan Pradhan on Tuesday. He said he was being "personally targeted" by a well-known politician, without naming Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik.
Maharashtra Minister accused Wankhede of forgery
Malik had shared Wankhede's purported birth certificate, alleging he was a Muslim named "Sameer Dawood Wankhede" and a forger. Wankhede clarified his father is a Hindu and his mother a Muslim. He called Malik's actions "defamatory" and an "unnecessary" invasion of his privacy.