Three people — Arbaz Seth Merchant, Munmun Dhamecha and Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan have been arrested after the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) raided a cruise ship and busted a drugs party on Saturday. They will be produced before the Holiday Court for remand.
According to sources, two weeks ago the officials had a tip-off following which they sent a few of their agents to the ship called ‘Cordelia Cruises’ Empress’. "They knew of a party taking place with a lot of drugs and the officer who had turned up for the party helped bust the party and found drugs ranging from cocaine, Mephedrone and Ecstasy to charas," adds our source.
The cruise ship, which had left Kochi with 1,200 people on 22 September, was on the way to Goa after a stopover in Mumbai and had a music programme going on for around three days. The NCB was informed about a large consignment of drugs reaching the ship for the party.
Sources also inform us that the NCB officers in disguise were waiting for the party to begin before they could catch them. Once the bust began, the undercover officers identified themselves to the captain of the ship and eight of the people at the party were taken in for questioning. They included Aryan Khan. Munmun Dhamecha, Nupur Sarika, Ismeet Singh, Mohak Jaswal, Vikrant Chhoker, Gomit Chopra and Arbaaz Merchant.
Leads and follow-ups
A few weeks ago Sameer Wankhede, Zonal Director of the NCB had told us that he was on the verge of making more arrests as investigations were on in a case he was following up last January when he was posted in the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).
"One such person arrested by Wankhede had turned an informer and has been often notifying Wankhede about the drug trade and rave parties," our source adds. "A peddler called Sikander too had been arrested with `30 crore worth of drugs at Navi Mumbai and the NCB has been keeping an eye out for the offenders."
While Wankhede has not commented on the issue yet, NCB Chief Director General Satya Narayan Pradhan, informed that they had got the information around two weeks ago, around the time the cruise docked in Kerala. "It took a lot of work to get the details and ensure that we were able to put the entire effort into action. We knew this had some Bollywood links too," adds Pradhan.
Interestingly an old video of Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan being interviewed by Simi Garewal on her show Rendezvous with Simi Garewal has started doing the rounds, in which Shah Rukh Khan is seen talking in jest about his advice to Aryan. "I have just told him that he can run after girls, smoke as much as he wants, do drugs and can have sex!" he says to Simi in the video. Trolls have immediately latched on to the video.