Mumbai Drugs Case: 5 Questions on NCB's Raid That Demand Attention
The NCB's recent raid and recovery of drugs onboard a Mumbai cruise have thrown up some questions.
On Saturday night, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) raided a party onboard a luxury cruise off the coast of Mumbai. Among those arrested by the anti-drug agency is Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan. Aryan, Arbaaz Merchantt, Munmun Dhamecha were produced before the Court on Monday.
During the hearing, the NCB had alleged that they found 'incriminating evidence' on Aryan Khan's phone and also claimed that his WhatsApp chats 'point to the existence of an international drug racket'. While passing the verdict, the Court stated that investigation is of 'prime importance' and extended Aryan and the others' custody till 7 October.
Going by the information that NCB has released so far, these aspects of the case are making headlines. However, here are five questions about this 'operation' that remain to be answered:
Who Delivered Drugs to Those Arrested?
The NCB has claimed that commercial quantity of drugs were recovered from the eight people who have been arrested, including Aryan Khan. How did such a huge amount of drugs get on the cruise that sailed from Mumbai? It is also being alleged that the accused involved in the case brought drugs to the party by hiding them inside the handles of purses, sanitary napkins and undergarments. However, from where did these high-profile people end up procuring the alleged drugs? Has NCB cracked down on those involved in the supply chain?
When Will Those Involved in This Drug Racket Be Caught?
One question that begs to be answered is - when will the 'big fish' operating this alleged drug racket be caught? The NCB has said that its officers carried out the entire operation based on a tip-off that was received 15 days back. But as of now, only eight people allegedly consuming drugs at the party have been arrested.
Who are the people providing the drugs and running this alleged racket? When the clients are such high-profile people, then how big will the nexus be? In this particular incident, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), officials of departments such as Customs, the Police and Excise also stand in the line of suspicion because a nexus this big cannot be carried out without their knowledge. So the question arises as to whether the NCB will end up only grabbing headlines or will the entire racket be busted?
Why Did The Party Continue Even After The Raid?
How was the party allowed to continue even after the raid? Surprisingly, till now no action has been taken or an inquiry conducted against the event management company that organised the party on the luxury cruise. Even after the raid, from which NCB claims to have recovered drugs, how did the cruise sail off with other guests? Were the NCB officers this confident that out of thousands of people, only eight were consuming drugs?
Were the other guests also questioned during the investigation? The organisers of the party had invited Aryan Khan as a special guest. Then, is it right to give the 'benefit of doubt' to the organisers? If sources are to be believed, the NCB has summoned the cruise company and event managers for their statements.
What is The Quantity of Drugs Recovered & What Are The Charges Pressed?
What is the quantity of drugs recovered and what charges have been pressed against the accused? A retired officer from the Anti Narcotics Cell tells The Quint that this particular raid is being discussed so much only because Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan's name has come up and not because drugs have been recovered in large quantities.
According to the arrest memo accessed by The Quint, 13 grams of cocaine, 5 grams of MD, 21 grams of charas, 22 pills of MDMA and Rs 1.33 lakh cash have been recovered after the raid. The quantity is less than any operation conducted the a State Anti-Narcotics Cell.
Actually, NCB is an organisation that acts on international drug trafficking. The charges in this case include the use, sale and purchase of prohibited substances under the NDPS Act, 1985. These sections imposed indicate use of commercial quantities of drugs and are punishable with imprisonment of up to ten years. However, it can also be extended to upto twenty years.
Is Organising a Cruise Party Not a Violation of COVID Rules?
Isn't organising such a huge-scale cruise party a violation of COVID regulations? Even today in Maharashtra, the government is being very careful while relaxing COVID restrictions. Special care is also being taken when it comes to opening schools, malls, multiplexes and temples. In such a situation, how did the organisers get the permission to host a party on a passenger cruise with around 2000 people?
Were there others rules being followed on the cruise? Administration officials were present on the cruise to inspect these things. In Maharashtra, people are not even being allowed to travel in local trains without COVID vaccination certificates and Universal Pass, resulting in a huge trouble for the working class. Then, how did a party with thousands of guests get greenlit?
Video Editor: Mohd. Irshad Alam
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