Aryan Khan was never in possession of drugs.
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has exonerated Aryan Khan, and five others as it filed a charge sheet against 14 people in the case related to the raid on the yacht Cordelia in Mumbai on October 2, 2021.
According to the Hindustan Times, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of NCB found no evidence that Aryan Khan was part of a larger drugs conspiracy or an international trafficking syndicate.
The SIT, headed by Sanjay Kumar Singh, re-looked at the case and has concluded there is not enough evidence to pursue it.
It was constituted after allegations surfaced that Aryan Khan may have been implicated and attempts to extort money were made.
In a statement, the NCB said: “SIT carried out its investigation in [an] objective manner.
“The touchstone of the principle of proof beyond reasonable doubt has been applied.
“Based on the investigation carried out by SIT, a complaint [charge sheet] has been filed against 14 persons under various sections of [the] NDPS [Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances] Act.
“Complaint against [the] rest six persons is not being filed due to lack of sufficient evidence.”
The agency said when the raid happened except for Aryan Khan and another person, the rest of the accused were found in possession of drugs.
Some of the key findings of the SIT included that Aryan Khan was never in possession of drugs. Hence, there was no need to take his phone and check his chats.
The chats did not suggest Khan was part of any international syndicate.
The raid on the yacht was not video-recorded as mandated and the drugs recovered from multiple accused arrested in the case were shown as single recovery.
NCB’s former Mumbai Zonal Unit director Sameer Wankhede, who carried out the raid, has since been repatriated to his parent cadre.
Wankhede led a team of officers and some witnesses on the night of October 2 to raid the cruise ship at International Cruise Terminal at Green Gate in Mumbai.
It seized 13 grams of cocaine, five grams of mephedrone, 21 grams of marijuana and 22 pills of MDMA (Ecstasy) from the vessel.
The initial findings of the SIT probe substantiated the Bombay high court’s observations as it granted bail to Khan on October 28 2021.
The court said there was “no evidence to suggest [the] existence of any conspiracy”.
SIT’s review of the probe involved questioning of all the arrested persons, witnesses, and officials at NCB’s Mumbai unit who took part in the raid along with Wankhede.
It revealed Khan never asked his friend Arbaaz Merchant to bring drugs on the cruise.
The procedural lapses are being looked into as part of a separate vigilance inquiry.