Raid on cruise ship ‘fake’, no drugs found: Maharashtra minister

Alleges BJP man was with NCB team | Charges out of frustration: Devendra Fadnavis

Raid on cruise ship ‘fake’, no drugs found: Maharashtra minister

Maharashtra Minorities Affairs Minister Nawab Malik - File photo

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 6

The Nationalist Congress Party has alleged that the NCB raid on a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast on October 2 was “fake” and no drugs were found during it.

Editorial: Catch the big fish: Disproportionate attention to cruise case, not Mundra haul

The party also questioned the presence of two persons along with the NCB team during the raid, and alleged that one of them was a BJP member. “The drama (the raid) was fake. They did not find drugs on the ship,” NCP spokesperson and Maharashtra Minorities Affairs Minister Nawab Malik is reportedly claimed to have said during a media interaction.

He also released a few videos, purportedly of the raid. “A man who is seen escorting Aryan Khan in one of the videos was not an NCB official, and his social media profile states that he is a private detective based in Kuala Lumpur,” the NCP leader said.

Further, two men were seen escorting Arbaaz Merchant, also arrested in the case, in another video, and one of them was a member of the BJP, Malik alleged. “If these two men are not officials of the NCB, then why were they escorting two high-profile persons (Khan and Merchant),” the NCP leader asked.

The man seen with Merchant was in Gujarat on September 21-22 and could be connected to the seizure of about 3,000 kg of heroin at Mundra Port, Malik alleged, asking the BJP to come clean on this person’s credentials. However, the BJP has so far not responded to Malik’s accusations.

Responding to the charges, the NCB said the two persons—Manish Bhanushali and Kiran Gosavi—were among more than half-a-dozen of its “independent witnesses” during the October 2 rave party raid on the luxury ship Cordelia Cruise.

However, the NCB scoffed the claims of Malik as “baseless, with malice to malign the agency’s image and in retaliation against an earlier action of the NCB”.

Bhanushali spoke to a private Marathi TV channel and said that he had given the tip-off about the rave party to the NCB and was accompanying them as a ‘witness’ to affix his signature on the relevant case papers.

Defending the NCB, BJP’s Leaders of Opposition (Assembly) Devendra Fadnavis and Pravin Darekar (Council) dismissed Malik’s charges as arising out of ‘frustration’ for the agency’s action of nabbing his son-in-law in January 2021 in a drugs case. (With agency inputs)

Minister’s son-in-law was arrested too

Maharashtra Minister and NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik’s son-in-law Sameer Khan was arrested by the NCB on January 13, 2021, in an alleged drug case. He got bail in September.

One more drug peddler held

The NCB on Wednesday arrested one more drug peddler in connection with the seizure of banned drugs from a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast. A total of 17 persons, including Aryan, have been arrested in the case

Tribune Shorts


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