ED delves deep into Tollywood drug links

Deccan Chronicle.  | MOULI MAREEDU

Nation, Crime

The agency officials sought details from the special investigation team of prohibition and excise officials who probed the case earlier

Police conducted raids at Pudding and Mink Pub at Radisson Hotel in Banjara Hills during which family members of celebrities and political leaders were caught (Photo by arrangement)

Hyderabad: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials, who are investigating the Tollywood drug case, have been keeping a close vigil on Pudding and Mink pub of Radisson Blu hotel by tracking the financial activities that took place between pub managements and drug peddlers, suspecting money laundering.

Taking a serious note on the Tollywood drug case, the agency officials sought details from the special investigation team (SIT) of prohibition and excise officials who probed the case earlier.

While probing the case thoroughly in connection with money laundering and suspected international transactions, the agency is understood to have monitored regular activities of the pub.

In the Pudding and Mink pub case, the management had issued memberships to the customers after collecting huge amounts and organised different events in attracting the customers and its members. It was found that the transactions took place between customers and pub managements on digital payments and in the form of cash transactions.

After questioning more than 10 Tollywood actors, actresses and others, the agency said to have got clues about the drug supply to Pudding and Mink pub and the origin of drug peddling. Details of the drug supplier are to be known. After thorough interrogation of the drug supplier to Pudding and Mink pub, the ED would establish links between the Tollywood drug case and pub drug case.

The Hyderabad police, who registered cases in connection with the pub incident, arrested two persons – Abhishek Uppala and M. Anil Kumar.

Two more accused Arjun Veeramachineni and Kiran Raj are still absconding. A number of celebrities and members from high profile families were caught by the police in connection with the case.

The ED officials already questioned more than 10 Tollywood actors, actresses, directors and car drivers of an actor for making money transactions to drug peddlers.

Recently, some data was given to ED officials from the state government regarding the case details and charge sheets for further probe by the Central agency.

Read more...