No international link in Cordelia drugs case: NCB DG
Director-General of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) SN Pradhan on Friday revealed that gross "irregularities" were found in the investigation of Cordelia drug case. He said that no substantial evidence has been found against Aryan Khan and that he is not a member of any international drug ring. Pradhan went on to suggest that the Mumbai NCB team that nabbed him will face action.
- Khan became the talk of the town last year when he was apprehended by the NCB following a drug bust on a luxury cruise.
- The highly publicized case saw the star kid's arrest and bail trial.
- The NCB's Sameer 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.
While speaking at a press conference, Pradhan said the SIT that took over the investigation didn't file any charges against six of the accused due to a lack of circumstantial evidence against them. According to the Supreme Court, there must be proof 'Beyond Reasonable Doubt,' which he said was found in the case of 14 accused only not in six others including Aryan Khan.
"The inquiry is on in this matter and it will be completed soon. The SIT in its probe showed some serious irregularities and appropriate action will be taken in this regard (against officials)," Pradhan said. "It's obvious that we are open to scrutiny. Hence, we took over the case after it landed in controversy and did a professional investigation," he added.
Replying to the allegations of international links and conspiracy, Pradhan said, "There is no international conspiracy found in the case. The accused had come in groups of four, three, and two persons." "It was not a joint conspiracy done by 14 people and so the conspiracy section has not been added. We cannot base the conspiracy charge merely on WhatsApp chats," he added.
When asked if the NCB team led by Sameer Wankhende will face action for arresting Aryan Khan, Pradhan said, "I will not jump immediately to blame the team (that arrested Aryan). SIT is looking into this." "Initially they may have had reasons to arrest but in a subsequent part of the investigation...no possession or corroborative evidence was found against him (Aryan) after the arrest."
At present, 18 of the 20 accused, including Aryan Khan, are out on bail. Shah Rukh Khan's eldest son was given one by the Bombay High Court on October 28, 2021, and Khan was able to walk out of the jail on October 30. Notably, Khan, who was invited on Cordelia Cruises' Mumbai-Goa ship, was detained even though no drug was found on him.