Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

Aryan Khan got a clean chit in the cruise drugs case, Sameer Wankhede transferred to Chennai

On Monday, Sameer Wankhede, the officer in charge of the drugs-on-cruise case in which Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan had spent more than 20 days in the prison, was moved to Chennai.

The action comes only days after the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) cleared Aryan in the case last year, which sparked a significant political uproar and resulted in Wankhede being removed from the case.

The revenue department and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, both under the finance ministry, issued the transfer order on Monday. It stated that Wankhede, an IRS official from the 2008 batch, was transferred from the Directorate General of Analytics and Risk Management (DGARM), Mumbai Zone, to the Directorate General of Taxpayers’ Services (DGTS) in Chennai with immediate effect.

After the anti-drugs agency exonerated Aryan in the Cordelia drugs raid case, the government allegedly recommended action against Wankhede, the then-Mumbai zone chief of the NCB.

Wankhede, a once-celebrated NCB senior officer who conducted a series of raids and brought the suspected link between narcotics and the Hindi film business to light, lost all credibility after Aryan Khan’s imprisonment.

Wankhede’s federal anti-narcotics office had interviewed and detained numerous Bollywood celebrities in connection with their drug activity.

Soon after Aryan’s name was brought up in the cruise case, Maharashtra minister and senior NCP politician Nawab Malik led the allegations against the NCB officer, accusing Wankhede of extortion and other irregularities. Malik was imprisoned months later in a money laundering case related to fugitive mobster Dawood Ibrahim.

According to sources, a special investigation team (SIT) that re-investigated the entire drugs-on-cruise case and the involvement of the accused discovered that the initial arrests and investigation by the team led by Wankhede were poor and had several evident breaches. The SIT stated that the Mumbai NCB team’s actions were riddled with “grave irregularities” and that they were only attempting to “implicate” Aryan in this case.

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