MUMBAI: Six more people, including four from the Delhi event management company Namas’cray Experience Pvt Ltd that had organised the two-day voyage on the cruise liner from which drugs were recovered were arrested by NCB on Tuesday as part of its ongoing probe into the seizure. The total number of arrests in the case has now gone up to 16.
Namas’cray is a Delhi-based firm registered as Caneplus Trading Private Limited. The firm was established on 30 October 2020. The company was tasked with the management of the event on board Cordelia Cruises’ Empress ship. On Saturday, NCB raided Cordelia and arrested eight people, including Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan and his friend Arbaaz Merchant.
NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede said, “The organisers have been arrested on Tuesday for their role in harbouring the drug syndicate. We have got electronic evidence, witnesses statements and corroborating evidence that the patrons had a drug party, the organisers had knowledge and it was the duty of the organisers to inform us but they didn’t and next day, the captain of the ship alerted us about the brawl between two groups after consuming drugs and that is why we have invoked the harbouring charges on the organisers. It was their duty to carry a check of drugs on board.’’
The NCB on Tuesday produced four accused (including two who were arrested on Monday) — Abdul Kedar Shaikh, Shreyas Nair, Manish Rajgaria and Avin Sahu — before the 8th metropolitan magistrate and sought their custody. All the four were remanded to NCB custody till October 11. The four event organisers — Gopal Jee Anand, Samir Sehgal, Manav Singhal and Bhaskar Arora — will be produced before court on Wednesday. Sehgal and Anand are additional directors of Namas’cray. All the eight held earlier have been remanded to NCB custody till October 7.
The NCB on Tuesday added the stringent sections of 27 (A) for financing, 22 (b) (contravention involving quantity lesser than commercial quantity but greater than small quantity) and 22 (c) (where contravention involves commercial quantity) against Shaikh. The section pertaining to financing has been invoked against Shreyas Nair.
While seeking custody of Shaikh, NCB public prosecutor Advait Sethna requested the court that they want minimum exposure of him as he is a key accused and investigations are on. Shaikh, whose face was covered with burkha, was whisked away by NCB officials. Shaikh’s lawyer later said his client wants to retract his statement as it was taken under duress. The NCB said it had recovered 2.5 grams of Ecstasy tablets and 54.3 grams of MD from Shaikh.
“We are at the remand stage, we need to investigate, and there are also other aspects as it has come to light that the cruise did not have permission from DG Shipping. Besides, we have found several irregularities which need to be investigated,” Chetna said. The NCB remand application stated that one of the arrested accused Mohak Jaswal during interrogation said the drugs were supplied to him by Shaikh.
The NCB arrested Nair after arrested accused Ismeet Singh Chadha said the drugs he brought were from Nair. Nair and Shaikh are accused of being suppliers and two others — Manish Rajgaria and Sahu — are guests who consumed drugs and had a brawl on board. Rajgaria and Sahu both admitted to have consumed ganja on board the ship, NCB claimed.
NCB’s Wankhede said, “Some of the accused hid drugs under shoe soles, some under sanitary napkins and eye lenses and medicine boxes.”