Ex-NCB officer Sameer Wankhede transferred to Chennai: Details here
Narcotics Control Bureau's (NCB) former Mumbai zonal director Sameer Wankhede was transferred from the financial capital to Chennai on Monday. This comes days after the Home Affairs Ministry recommended action against Wankhede for a "shoddy probe" in last year's Cordelia Cruises drug bust case and the subsequent arrest of Aryan Khan. Notably, the NCB had given a clean chit to Aryan last week.
Why does this story matter?
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan's son, Aryan, became the talk of the town last year when the NCB apprehended him following a drug bust on a cruise. The high-profile case saw the star kid's arrest and bail trial. Wankhede, who was leading the investigation, later faced extortion and dereliction of duty allegations, following which a Special Investigation Team (SIT) took over the investigation.
'I don't harp on the negative,' says Wankhede
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has transferred Wankhede, an Indian Revenue Service officer, to Chennai. On Monday, Wankhede tweeted, "I don't harp on the negative because if you do, then there's no progression... You got to always look on the bright side of things, and we are in control. Like, you have control over the choices you make."
Aryan, five others not named due to lack of evidence
To recall, on Friday, the NCB didn't name Aryan and five others in the 6,000-page charge sheet it filed before a special Narcotics Drugs And Psychotropic Substances court due to a lack of evidence. But it named 14 individuals who were found in possession of narcotic substances after the central agency conducted a raid on the Cordelia Cruises' Empress ship on October 2, 2021.
SIT rubbished reports claiming no evidence against Aryan
In March, reports had suggested the NCB SIT had found no evidence against Aryan and it was reported that he was "never in possession of drugs, hence, there was no need to take his phone and check his chats." But soon after, the SIT had rubbished those reports. The team maintained that nothing was to be said before a comprehensive investigation was over.
Government to decide on disciplinary action against Wankhede
Notably, Maharashtra cabinet minister Nawab Malik had leveled allegations of corruption against Wankhede, following which he was removed from the investigation of Aryan's case last year. An inquiry was also initiated against him. Recent reports said NCB's vigilance inquiry against Wankhede's raid on the cruise ship would be finalized soon. The government would then take a decision on initiating disciplinary action against him.