NCB witness in Aryan Khan’s arrest case who alleged Rs 25-cr extortion against Sameer Wankhede dies

News Network
April 2, 2022

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In a shocking development, Prabhakar Sail, a panch witness in the drugs-on-cruise case involving the Narcotics Control Bureau raid on Cordelia cruise liner, died of a suspected heart attack on Friday evening.

The case pertains to a drug bust in which a total of 20 persons were arrested in the intervening hours of October 2 and 3, 2021. Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan was also arrested in connection with the case from the cruise liner. 

Sail, in his early forties, died at his residence in Mahul of Chembur. 

Sail was the personal bodyguard of independent witness KP Gosavi, who claims to be a private detective and is currently behind bars. Gosavi's selfie with Aryan Khan led to a furore. Initially, it appeared that Gosavi was an officer, however, later NCB denied it and revealed that he was a witness. 

Prabhakar Sail’s allegation

In October last year, Sail stunned everyone by alleging the exchange of a huge volume of money involving officers from the Narcotics Control Bureau including its Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede. 

Sail, in his affidavit, had alleged that he heard Gosavi speak with one Sam D’Souza about one Rs. 18 crore deal of which Rs. 8 crore was meant to be paid to NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede. According to Sail’s affidavit, he was present in the car when Gosavi spoke to D’Souza.

Sail had alleged that Gosavi held a meeting with D’Souza and Shah Rukh Khan’s manager, Pooja Dadlani in a car the same evening. Sail had gone on to add that he received the cash from Gosavi and personally delivered it to D’Souza.

Sail, one of the nine witnesses whose names were later released by the NCB, had said that he feared for his life after Gosavi went missing. This, according to him, was the reason why he decided to file an affidavit.

The affidavit had read, “On 1st October 2021, at about 9.45 PM, he (Gosavi) called me and said that I should be ready by 7.30 AM and that he has left. On 2nd October 2021, at about 7.35 Kiran Gosavi called me and said that he had transferred Rs. 500 to my gpay account and told me that he is sending me a location on WhatsApp and told me to come to that location.”

“I reached CST station at 8.45 PM and when I saw the location at WhatsApp, it was shown as NCB office. I reached there by taxi and saw white Innova car MH-12 GJ-3000 parked opposite NCB office, I asked the driver Vijay Suryavanshi as to where is KP Gosavi. He told me that KP Gosavi is in NCB office and he is in a meeting with NCB officials.”

He had continued, “I was with the driver at about 10 AM. Kiran Gosavi called the driver and came down with NCB officer for NCB office. Kiran Gosavi and the said officer left in the said Innova and instructed me to wait there itself. (sic)

“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 few others with NCB officials.”

“Till such time we reached Lower Parel KP Gosavi was talking to Sam on the phone and stated that you put a bomb of 25 crores and let’s settle at 18 final because we have to give 8 crores to Sameer Wankhede,” Sail had concluded.

Wankhede had denied allegations made by Sail.

The Mumbai Police later formed a four-member team to investigate sensational claims made by NCB witness Prabhaakr Sail. It was only after Sail’s claims that the NCB was forced to remove Sameer Wankhede from the case’s investigation.

Interestingly, Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik had also accused Wankhede of indulging in extortion as he raised questions on the latter’s mysterious trips to the Maldives and Dubai in the past.

Malik was later arrested by another central government agency, the Enforcement Directorate.

Aryan Khan was arrested with seven others from a Goa-bound cruise ship by the NCB. He had to spend nearly a month in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail until the Bombay High Court granted him bail.

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News Network
September 28,2022

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Hyderabad, Sept 28: AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday slammed the Centre for banning Popular Front of India (PFI) saying the "draconian" ban is dangerous as it is a ban on any Muslim who wishes to speak his mind. 

"While I have always opposed PFI's approach and supported democratic approach, this ban on PFI cannot be supported. Actions of some individuals who commit crime does not mean that the organisation itself must be banned. SC has also held that mere association with an organisation is not enough to convict someone," Owaisi said in a tweet.

He added that the way India's "electoral autarky" is approaching "fascism", every Muslim youth will now be arrested with a PFI pamphlet under the UAPA. 

"Muslims have spent decades in prison before being acquitted by courts. I have opposed UAPA and will always oppose all actions under UAPA. It runs afoul the principle of liberty, which is part of basic structure of the Constitution," said Owaisi. 

After years of investigations and demands from BJP-ruled states, the Narendra Modi government on Wednesday banned PFI and its eight affiliates for five years, charging them with being involved in "several criminal and terror cases" and having links with the terror outfits like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

The ban, which was notified by the Ministry of Home Affairs in the gazette at 5:43 am, came following multi-agency raids in around 15 states, including Karnataka and Kerala, led by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) that led to the arrest or detention of over 350 PFI leaders and activists on September 22 and 27. The MHA said in the notification that the ban was recommended by BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat governments.

Along with the PFI, its affiliates Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CFI), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab India, Kerala were banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. 

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News Network
September 22,2022

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New Delhi, Sept 22: The Popular Front of India on Thursday, while condemning the raids by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against its leaders, stated that it will "never surrender" and alleged that the agency's claims are aimed at "creating an atmosphere of terror".

A total of 106 Popular Front of India (PFI) cadres were arrested on Thursday in a joint operation conducted by the National Investigation Agency, Enforcement Directorate and state police forces across 11 states in the country's multiple locations, according to the sources.

Issuing a statement against it, PFI's National Executive Council (NEC) said, "NEC has condemned the national wide raids by the NIA and ED and the unjust arrests and the harassments of its National and state leaders across India and the witch-hunting against the members, and supporters of the organization."

"NIA's baseless claims and sensationalism are solely aimed at creating an atmosphere of terror," it added.

It said that the Front will "never ever surrender" on the action taken by a "totalitarian regime".

"Popular Front will never ever surrender on any scary action by a totalitarian regime using the central agencies as its puppets and will stand firm on its will for recovering the democratic system and spirit of the constitution of our beloved country," the statement said.

Meanwhile, among the states where the raids were conducted include Andhra Pradesh (5), Assam (9), Delhi (3), Karnataka (20), Kerala (22), Madhya Pradesh (4), Maharashtra (20), Puducherry (3), Rajasthan (2), Tamil Nadu (10) and Uttar Pradesh (8).

The searches were conducted at multiple locations in the largest ever investigation process till date. The operation started late in the night around 1 am and learnt to be concluded by 5 am involving over 1,500 personnel of state police, Central Armed Police Forces and officers of NIA and ED.

Several incriminating documents, more than 100 mobile phones, laptops and other materials have been seized by the raiding teams.

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News Network
September 24,2022

New Delhi, Sept 24: Sources in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) have said that the raids at the premises of Popular Front of India (PFI) conducted earlier this week were named 'Operation Octopus'.

The sources said that all the 300 officials who were pressed into service were asked to keep quiet during the raids as the agencies wanted to uproot the entire network of PFI.

More than 100 PFI leaders and members were arrested and around 200 were detained under 'Operation Octopus'.

The ED and NIA have reportedly claimed that the PFI members were involved in anti-national activities.

These raids were conducted at the houses and offices of top PFI leaders and members in connection with five cases registered by the NIA following continued inputs and evidence that the organisation members were involved in terror funding, organising training camps and radicalising people.

The NIA has claimed that the accused were organising camps for imparting training to commit violent and terrorist acts with the objective of promoting enmity between different groups on the basis of religion.

The probe agency said that violent acts carried out by PFI such as chopping off the hand of a college professor, cold blooded killings of persons associated with organisations espousing the other faiths, collection of explosives to target prominent people and places, support to the Islamic State terror group and destruction of public property have had a demonstrative effect of striking terror in the minds of the citizens.

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