Sameer Wankhede is facing allegations of corruption and criminal misconduct.
Mumbai: Actor Shah Rukh Khan’s family was threatened that his son Aryan would be framed in a narcotics case unless he paid ₹ 25 crore, according to the FIR filed by the CBI against Sameer Wankhede, former zonal director of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
Mr Wankhede, who hit headlines after the arrest of Aryan Khan and others in an alleged drug bust on a cruise ship off Mumbai in October 2021, is facing allegations of corruption and criminal misconduct.
In its FIR, the CBI has flagged the officer’s foreign trips and sale and purchase of expensive wrist watches.
Enquiries into the allegations against Mr Wankhede and Ashish Ranjan, then an intelligence officer with NCB, “could not sufficiently justify their acquired assets as per their declared income”, the FIR says. Mr Wankhede, it adds, has “not properly explained his foreign visits and had apparently mis-declared the expenditure on his foreign travels”.
The FIR names four accused other than Mr Wankhede. These include Vishwa Vijay Singh and Ashish Ranjan, then senior officers with the NCB, and KP Gosavi and his aide Sanvile D’Souza.
KP Gosavi is the witness in the drugs-on-cruise case whose selfie with Aryan Khan following his arrest, sparking questions on how an individual not employed with NCB was allowed access to the accused.
The CBI’s FIR notes that Gosavi “was allowed to be present in the company of accused persons and even allowed to come to the NCB office after the raid which is against the norms for an independent witness”. “In this manner, KP Gosavi took the freedom and clicked selfies and recorded the voice note of an accused,” it adds.
The FIR flags a conspiracy “to extort a sum of ₹ 25 crore from the family members of the alleged ‘accused’ Aryan Khan by threatening them of the accusation of offences of possession of Narcotics substances”. “This amount was finally settled for ₹ 18 crore. A token amount of ₹ 50 lakhs as bribe money was also taken by KP Gosavi and his aide Sanville D’Souza but later a part of this amount of ₹ 50 lakhs bribe money was returned back by them,” the FIR says.
Wankhede, the CBI has alleged, had asked Vishwa Vijay Singh, the superintendent of NCB, “to let KP Gosavi handle the accused while taking him to NCB office thereby allowing a freehand to KP Gosavi and others in order to create a visual impression of KP Gosavi having the custody of the accused and escorting/dragging him towards NCB Mumbai office”.
Many of these allegations were earlier made by former Maharashtra minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik, currently in jail on corruption charges, and Prabhakar Sail, a witness in the drugs-on-cruise case who died of a heart attack last year.
Wankhede was transferred to the Directorate General of Taxpayer Services in Chennai last year. Following the recent CBI raids at his home, he said he “was being punished for being a patriot”. “I am getting rewarded for being a patriot, yesterday 18 CBI officials raided my residence and searched it for more than 12 hours while my wife and children were present in the house. They found ₹ 23,000 and four property papers. These assets were acquired before I joined the service,” he said.
Following his arrest, Aryan Khan spent 22 days in jail before the NCB cleared him of charges, citing a “lack of sufficient evidence”. Amid the huge uproar, a separate probe was launched into the allegations against Wankhede and his team.