Bollywood actor Arjun Rampal today presented himself before the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), the second time in a little over a month, in connection with a drug-related case. The agency, which is probing a film industry-drug cartel nexus, particularly in the wake of the death by suicide of actor Sushant Singh Rajput a few months ago, questioned him for close to six hours.
Mr Rampal was earlier questioned by the agency on November 13 for around seven hours after it obtained some information during interrogation of some persons arrested in a drug case.
In November, NCB searched his Mumbai residence and seized electronic gadgets and some medicines banned under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. His partner Gabriella Demtriades was questioned for two days, while her brother, Agisilaos Demetriades, and Mr Rampal's friend Paul Bartel were arrested in connection with the case.
The NCB began probing drug cartels' links with the film industry following the revelations from several WhatsApp chats in the wake of Mr Rajput's death in June this year. The agency arrested Mr Rajput's girlfriend, along with others. She was, however, later released on bail.
Subsequently, several top celebrities, including Deepika Padukone, Firoz Nadiadwala, and Shraddha Kapoor, were questioned.
In the tightening of vigil that followed, the NCB raided and confiscated several caches of contraband items like cocaine and charas. Suraj Godambe, a popular Bollywood hair-stylist and make-up artist, was arrested on December 10 with 11 grams of cocaine, along with his supplier, an auto-rickshaw driver. A few days before that, it recovered charas worth Rs 2.5 crore during a raid in Mumbai's Andheri area, which was one of its biggest hauls in recent times.