"I saw Aryan Khan in one of the cabins"
A witness has claimed that NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede demanded Rs. 8 Crore (£775,000) in exchange for Aryan Khan’s release.
A man named Prabhakar Raghoji Sail made the accusations.
Sail is the personal bodyguard of KP Gosavi, who is one of nine independent witnesses in the ongoing Aryan Khan drugs case.
His selfie with Khan previously went viral.
In an affidavit, Sail claimed that he was present in a car one evening when he heard Gosavi speak to someone named Sam D’Souza about a deal.
It read: “Till such time we reached Lower Parel KP Gosavi was talking to Sam on the phone and stated that you put a bomb (exaggerated demand) of Rs. 25 Crores (£2.4 million) and let’s settle at 18 final because we have to give Rs 8 Crores (£775,000) to Sameer Wankhede.”
That same evening, Gosavi, D’Souza and Shah Rukh Khan’s manager Pooja Dadlani had a 15-minute meeting inside a car, the bodyguard added.
Sail claimed that he had collected the money from the nearby Trident Hotel in Mumbai. He said people in a white vehicle handed him two bags of cash.
Sail then delivered this to D’Souza and when counted, the total amounted to Rs. 38 Lakh (£36,000).
The bodyguard decided to file the affidavit as Gosavi has gone missing and he feared for his life. A lookout notice has been issued for his employer.
He also said he was near the boarding area of the cruise ship on Saturday, October 2, 2021, which was where the drugs case began after an NCB raid.
Sail was asked to identify some of those boarding and was sent a series of photographs on WhatsApp to help with this.
In the affidavit, he added: “At about 10:30 pm I was called [by] KP Gosavi in the boarding area and I saw Aryan Khan in one of the cabins at the cruise boarding area.
“I saw one girl, Munmun Dhamecha, and a few others with NCB officials.”
After Khan and others were taken to the bureau’s office, Sail said he was asked by Gosavi and Sameer Wankhede to sign some blank papers.
Wankhede has strongly denied the claims against him and the NCB.
He said: “We will give a fitting reply.”
A spokesperson for the bureau added: “This affidavit can be taken to NDPS court and we will give our response there.”
Others in the bureau have called the claims “baseless” and that they have “no idea about who he [Sail] is.”
Some questioned that if money had indeed changed hands then “why would someone be in jail?”
One source alleged that the claims were made “just to malign the (agency’s) image”.
The source added: “There are CCTV cameras in the office and nothing of this sort happened.”
Maharashtra minister and Congress leader Nawab Malik previously alleged that Wankhede was in the Maldives during the lockdown.
He accused him of conducting an extortion racket on the Bollywood personalities present there.
Malik also alleged that the officer is acting at the behest of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to discredit the Maharashtra government.
Wankhede brushed off the allegations, saying he went to the Maldives with his children “with proper permission, legally and with my own money”.
Aryan Khan remains behind bars at Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail after he was recently denied bail for the third time.