Another NCB witness says Wankhede made him sign blank papers
Another witness for the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has alleged that agency Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede made him sign blank papers. These papers were allegedly used for a panchnama in a case against a Nigerian national from Khargar, Mumbai. Earlier, Wankhede was accused of making a witness in the high-profile Cordelia Cruise drugs case sign blank papers. Wankhede also faces allegations of forgery.
Why does this story matter?
In a major turn in the Cordelia Cruise drugs case, a series of grave allegations have been leveled against officer Wankhede. Wankhede stands accused of taking bribes, using corrupt measures, and forgery to wrongfully avail a caste reservation quota. He faces an internal probe by the NCB. If found guilty, it would put in question the functioning of the agency.
What has the witness said?
The Khargar case witness Sameer Kamble alleged that Wankhede made him sign 10-12 blank papers. He said the officer assured him nothing would happen and also accessed his call records. Kamble said NCB officer Anil Mane called him late last night and told him to not speak to anyone. The witness said he got scared when he saw a news report on the case.
Wankhede also accused of bribe-taking
The Cordelia Cruise case witness, Prabhakar Sail, had alleged that Wankhede made him sign 10 blank papers. In a recent notarized affidavit, Sail also alleged he overheard co-witness KP Gosavi talking about splitting a bribe between him, Wankhede, and one Sam D'Souza. The alleged bribe was in exchange for the release of actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan, arrested in the case.
Wankhede used 'fake caste certificate'
Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik has accused Wankhede of forgery and falsely availing reservation benefits of the Scheduled Caste community to secure a job in the Indian Revenue Service. Malik has released documents alleging that Wankhede is Muslim, including a birth certificate and a marriage document called a nikahnama. However, Wankhede said his mother was Muslim and his father was Hindu.
Centre allowed cruise party: Maharashtra Minister
Malik further claimed that a well-known drug trafficker was present on the Cordelia Cruise when the NCB raid happened on October 2. The drug trafficker is known to the NCB and had spent time in the Tihar Jail, he said. The party on the cruise was organized with due permission from the central government-controlled Directorate of Shipping, he added.
Wankhede to remain probing officer in cruise case
Malik said the main perpetrator is "walking freely" and urged the NCB to conduct a thorough probe. He requested the NCB To look into CCTV footage of the cruise and Wankhede's call records. Wankhede will remain the investigating officer in the Cordelia Cruise case, NCB Deputy Director General (DDG)-northern region Gyaneshwar Singh said. Meanwhile, the Bombay HC adjourned Khan's bail hearing till Thursday.