Aryan Khan's name has been cleared in the Mumbai drugs-on-cruise case
More details of the "shoddy" investigation into the Mumbai drugs-on-cruise case have emerged, indicating how a key piece of information was concealed by anti-narcotics officer Sameer Wankhede and his team.
Arbaaz Merchant, a friend of actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan, in his statement to the Narcotics Control Bureau, or NCB, officer on October 2 last year had said he carried 6 grams of charas for his own use and not for the superstar's son, sources said today.
Mr Merchant also told the NCB team that Aryan Khan asked him not to carry any drugs to the party on the cruise off the Mumbai coast, the sources said. Aryan Khan's name has been cleared in the case now.
It is now learnt that, by concealing this statement, Sameer Wankhede and team arrested Aryan Khan the very next day on the charge that charas with Arbaaz Merchant was for Shah Rukh Khan's son.
Mr Wankhede, who initially investigated the Mumbai drugs-on-cruise case, faces action for allegedly submitting a fake caste certificate for a government job and "shoddy investigation" into the drugs case, people with direct knowledge of the matter have said today.
The NCB sources said 6 gram of charas was indeed found with Mr Merchant, who was travelling together with Aryan Khan; however, no drugs were found with the superstar's son.
In his first statement to the investigating officer Aashish Ranjan Prasad in October last year, Mr Merchant accepted he kept charas in his shoes, but did not say it was meant for any other person including Aryan Khan, the NCB sources said.
In all of his statements, Mr Merchant has not said the drug recovered from him was meant for Aryan Khan or his friend was involved in procuring it, the sources said.
One of the two independent witnesses, Prabhakar, who was present during the raid, said in his statement recorded in November last year that he was asked by Kiran Gosavi, another witness who was present at the raid, to sign on blank papers. Prabhakar died recently.
The NCB sources said it was strange to note that despite clear denial by Mr Merchant on any involvement of Aryan Khan in getting drugs, the investigating officer started looking at WhatsApp chats of Aryan Khan without formally seizing the mobile phone.