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CBI questions Sameer Wankhede for more than 5 hours in cruise drug bust bribery case

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MUMBAI, May 20 (PTI): The CBI on Saturday quizzed former Mumbai NCB chief Sameer Wankhede for more than five hours in a case in which he is accused of demanding a Rs 25 crore bribe from superstar Shah Rukh Khan for not implicating his son Aryan in the Cordelia cruise ‘drug bust’ case, an official said.

Wankhede reached the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) office in Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) around 10.15 am.

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Talking to media persons while entering the agency office, Wankhede just said “Satyamev Jayate” (truth alone triumphs). He didn’t speak to media persons while leaving the office.

The Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer was given a lunch break for around 30 minutes at around 2 pm. He returned to the CBI office and joined the investigation. He left for the day at around 4:30 pm, the official said.

It was his first appearance before the agency after the case was registered against him, the official said.

The CBI had summoned the former Mumbai Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal director for questioning on Thursday in connection with the case, but he did not appear that day.

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The central agency booked Wankhede and four others on May 11 for alleged criminal conspiracy and threat of extortion, besides under provisions pertaining to bribery under the Prevention of Corruption Act on a complaint by the NCB.

On Friday, Wankhede got a relief from the Bombay High Court which directed the CBI not to take any “coercive action”, such as arrest, against him till May 22.

Seeking quashing of FIR, Wankhede alleged before the HC that the “draft complaint” in the 2021 drugs-on-cruise case named Aryan Khan as an accused, but it was later replaced and Aryan’s name was dropped.

Among other things, his petition also provided transcriptions of phone chats with Shah Rukh Khan during the period Aryan was in NCB custody. It cited Khan as pleading with Wankhede to be kind to his son and praising the officer for his “uprightness”

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Aryan was arrested by the NCB on October 3, 2021, following the alleged drug seizure on board the Cordelia cruise ship here. He was granted bail by the high court three weeks later as the anti-drugs agency failed to substantiate its charges against him.

The CBI alleged that the NCB’s Mumbai zone had received information in October 2021 regarding the consumption and possession of narcotic substances by various individuals on the cruise ship, and some NCB officers conspired to get bribes from the accused in return for letting them off.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
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