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NCB raid of cruise ship throws up more questions than answers

 
By Ujwal Jalali
New Delhi, Oct 7 (IANS) The high-profile rave party busted by Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in the financial capital of the country has left a series of difficult conundrums for the public to understand, further deepening the mystery!



The NCB has so far arrested 18 persons in the drugs case, including, Hindi mega-star Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan who has been now sent to 14 days of judicial custody.

But even as the case is progressing further, there are several layers, when unearthed, raise eyebrows. The first thing which comes into the mind is how was the contraband taken to the luxury ship? The NCB had said that during the raid, it recovered various popular party drugs like Cocaine, MDMA, Ecstasy, Mephedrone and Charas. Of all the contraband, the cocaine was 13 gm, Charas 21 gm, 22 pills of MDMA and 5 gm MD.

It is yet 'unanswered' as to how the star kids were able to procure these drugs.

The NCB's swoop - which shook the Bollywood's core as the superstar's kid was involved - almost sounded unbelievable till a picture of a dazed Aryan sitting on a bench inside the agency's office in south Mumbai emerged from nowhere.

A bald man, who was later identified as an alleged BJP leader Kiran Gosavi, clicked a picture with the star kid inside the NCB's office, triggering a row that BJP activists, were involved in the raid conducted by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on the luxury ship Cordelia Cruises on October 2.

Another BJP leader Manish Bhanushali was seen hauling out some of the accused, including Aryan and Arbaaz Merchant. How did a private person, who is a BJP activist, hand over the accused? -- another unanswered question!

Of the eight people that were the first detained by the NCB, three -- Mohak Jaswal, Nupur Sarika and Gomit Chopra are from Delhi. Mohak and Nupur are both fashion designers while Gomit is a hair stylist. Sources earlier confirmed to IANS that both Mohak and Nupur had come to Delhi with Gomit but still there is no further details about them. Did they go to Mumbai to attend the party or were they already residing there? It is yet to be answered.

It is being said that the luxury ship, the Cordelia Cruise, which was raided by the sleuths of the NCB when it was preparing to lift anchor for a fun-filled two-night gala voyage to Goa, had around 1,300 affluent passengers on board. Were only 8 of these 1300 people consuming or carrying drugs with them? Is NCB going to question the remaining voyagers?

It has also come to the fore that soon after the drug bust, the men from drug agency left and the cruise sailed off with the remaining guests. However, there is still no official word on this.

Coming back to the centre of attraction of this bust -- Aryan Khan -- due to which this became a high-profile case. The NCB had clearly stated that drugs were not recovered from the possession of SRK's lad, while only 6 gm of charas was found in the possession of Arbaaz Merchant.

If the quantity was so low, why NCB was even today demanding another four days of his custody?

Aryan's lawyer Satish Maneshinde fired several questions at the drug probe agency, as NCB said it needed custody extension of Aryan so they could confront him with other accused. On Wednesday, the NCB arrested Achit Kumar whose name popped up from WhatsApp chats. "Why did the NCB not confront Aryan and Arbaaz with Achit yesterday only? NCB is well equipped, they have more than 100 officers," the lawyer asked posing another question that was not answered. "Confrontation cannot be grounds for custody," he quipped.

Last but not the least, two days ago, the NCB made four more arrests in connection with the case. All the four arrested were employees of Namas'cray, a Delhi-based event management company that organised the 'rave party' onboard Cordelia Cruises' Empress ship. But wait, why are we forgetting that the pandemic is still ravaging the country. The country is still witnessing nearly 300 fatalities every day. Then how come under pandemic-induced restrictions, such a party was allowed. Another unanswered question...!

--IANS
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