No evidence Aryan was part of conspiracy, find NCB’S SIT

 Kolkata: According to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified, there is no evidence that Aryan Khan was part of a larger drugs conspiracy or an international drugs trafficking syndicate, and there were several irregularities in the raid on the yacht Cordelia during which he was arrested, according to a special investigation team (SIT) of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

No evidence Aryan was part of conspiracy,  find NCB’S SIT

No evidence Aryan was part of the conspiracy,  find NCB’S SIT

In fact, contrary to NCB's Mumbai unit's allegations, some of the SIT's key findings, shared with HT by officials, are that Aryan Khan was never in possession of drugs, so there was no need to have his phone video-recorded as required by the NCB manual; and the drugs recovered from multiple accused arrested in the case were shown as a single recovery.

To be sure, the SIT investigation isn't over, and the final report to NCB Director General S N Pradhan could take a few months. Before a final or last judgement is made, a legal opinion will be sought on, notably on the question of whether Aryan Khan may be charged with consumption even if he was not carrying any drugs, according to one of the Investing officers.


The SIT investigation appears to raise more doubts about the raid itself, as well as the actions of Sameer Wankhede, the agency's former Mumbai Zonal Unit director.

Wankhede, who has now been returned to his parent cadre, has been questioned several times by the SIT and the agency's vigilance unit in an attempt to learn the facts about the case.

On the night of October 2 last year, Wankhede accompanied a squad of officers and some witnesses to the International Cruise Terminal at Green Gate in Mumbai to raid the cruise liner, Cordelia. From the cruise ship, the NCB seized 13 grammes of cocaine, 5 grammes of mephedrone, 21 kilos of marijuana, 22 pills of MDMA (Ecstasy), and $1.33 lakh in cash.

The initial findings of the SIT probe substantiate the observations of the Bombay high court, which granted Khan the ball on October 128 last year while saying that "there was no evidence to suggest the existence of any conspiracy," according to the officials. The SIT's review of the Cordelia probe, which included questioning all the arrested people, witnesses, and officials from the Mumbai unit who took part in the dramatic raid along with Wankhede, has also revealed that Kha was not involved in any conspiracy.

The agency is already investigating the procedural failures as part of a separate vigilance investigation.

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