Mumbai Drug Bust: ‘Drug Peddler’ With Alleged Links to Arbaaz Merchant Sent to NCB Custody

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Shivraj Ramdaas, accused of peddling drugs and with alleged links to Arbaaz Merchant, who was arrested in the Mumbai drug bust case, has been sent to custody of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Sunday, news agency ANI reported.

The Narcotics Control Bureau personnel late Saturday night carried out multiple raids in Mumbai’s suburbs, including Goregaon. They arrested Ramdas from Santacruz area on Friday night in connection with the case of drugs seizure, the official said.

Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan and some others were arrested by the NCB last Sunday following a raid on a Goa-bound cruise ship, based on a tip-off that a party was to take place onboard the vessel. An NCB team led by its zonal director Sameer Wankhede had raided the ship and claimed to have recovered banned drugs.

On Thursday, the court had rejected the NCB’s request for further custody of Aryan Khan and seven others and instead sent them in 14-day judicial custody.

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Meanwhile, the NCB also arrested a Nigerian national on Sunday in connection with the cruise drugs party raid case, an NCB official said. With this, 20 people have so far been arrested by the NCB in connection with the case, including Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, he said.

Giving details of the latest arrest, the official said a team of the NCB laid a trap in suburban Goregaon and apprehended the accused, identified as Okaro Ouzama, “along with an intermediate quantity of cocaine” on Saturday. This is the second arrest of a foreign national in the case, the official said. Earlier also, the NCB had arrested a Nigerian in the case. The NCB is making effort to explore the foreign linkages in the case on the basis of interrogation of the all accused persons, the official said.

He also said that two men, whom NCP leader and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik had claimed as “outsiders” involved in the raid, were actually among the nine independent witnesses involved in the whole operation. He said the duo was not known to the NCB before October 2, when the raid was conducted on the Goa-bound ship.

A total of nine independent witnesses were involved in the whole operation (cruise ship raid) and Manish Bhanushali and K P Gosavi were among them. “None of the independent witnesses, including the two (Bhanushali and Gosavi) were known to the NCB before October 2,” the official said.

The NCB had earlier said all the allegations levelled against it in connection with the cruise ship raid were “baseless, motivated afterthoughts and prejudicial”. NCB’s Mumbai zonal director Sameer Wankhede had said the anti-drugs agency works professionally. “We do not see any political party and religion. We do our job professionally,” he added.

With inputs from PTI.

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