A press release by the NCB said that this has been done on “administrative grounds” and no one has been removed from any case. Wankhede, who has been heading the Aryan Khan probe, also said he has not been removed from the case.
The SIT headed by IPS officer Sanjay Singh told the media that his team would take assistance from the Mumbai unit. Singh, a 1996 batch Odisha cadre IPS officer posted as deputy director general (operations unit) in NCB’s Delhi office, arrived in Mumbai with his team and went to the NCB office in Ballard Estate. The six cases taken over by the SIT are the case of Aryan Khan, actor Armaan Kohli’s arrest, state minister Nawab Malik’s son in-law Sameer Khan’s case, and three other drugs cases where the accused were caught from Mumbra, Jogeshwari and Dongri.
Singh and Wankhede visited the Cordellia cruise for investigation in the afternoon.
The SIT was formed on Friday. The NCB said the SIT will take over six cases which it said have “national and international ramifications”.
Malik had alleged that the case of drug bust on the cruise was a fake one and released images of witnesses accompanying Aryan Khan to the NCB office and taking selfies with Khan. One of the witnesses was a BJP worker and another one, K P Gosavi, was a criminal, he had alleged.
Gosavi, who was wanted in several cases, was subsequently arrested by the Pune police in a cheating case.
Later, one of the witnesses, Prabhakar Sail, in an affidavit alleged discussion of pay-offs to be made to an NCB official, besides a meeting with Shah Rukh Khan’s manager, Pooja Dadlani, where money exchanged hands.
Another witness, Sam D’Souza, whose name figured in Sail’s affidavit, said that Rs 50 lakh was collected from Dadlani but it was returned after he realised that Gosavi was a cheat. The state formed an SIT to probe the allegations of extortion. Wankhede denied the charges of extortion.
There were reports that an NCB vigilance team will visit Mumbai on Monday for the probe into the cruise drugs case. The vigilance team had earlier visited Mumbai on October 24 and left for New Delhi.
Malik had said that he got an anonymous letter and sent it to the NCB’s top brass. The writer, who claimed to be working at the NCB office, cited 26 cases and claimed that several people in these cases were falsely framed.