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

News Network
April 2, 2022


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
June 24,2022


Mumbai, June 24: With the Shiv Sena faction led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray seeking cancellation of membership of several rebel MLAs, minister Eknath Shinde, who has spearheaded the revolt against the party, has claimed that the group led by him is the "real Shiv Sena", and also hit back saying he and his supporters will not be intimidated by the disqualification threats.

In a series of tweets posted late Thursday night, Shinde who is camping in Guwahati along with 37 Sena legislators and 10 independents, said as per the 10th Schedule of the Constitution, a party whip is issued for the legislature proceedings and not for attending a meeting.

The Shiv Sena led by Thackeray has sought the disqualification of 12 legislators from the Shinde camp for not attending the legislature party meeting on Wednesday.

"Eknath Shinde faction that's challenging us must realise that Shiv Sena workers are yet to come on the roads. Such battles are fought either through law or on the roads. If need be then our workers would come on the roads," said Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, adding that the rebel camp's numbers are only on the papers.

"Shiv Sena is a big ocean, such waves come and go," Raut said.

Responding to it, Shinde said in tweets, "There are several Supreme Court decisions in this regard. Who are you trying to frighten? We understand your games and law as well. You can't ask for action against 12 of our MLAs because we are loyal to Balasaheb Thackeray and are the real Shiv Sena and Shiv Sainiks. In fact, we demand action against you for forming a group despite having no numbers."

In the wake of his rebellion, Shinde was sacked as Shiv Sena's group leader in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. The party appointed Ajay Chaudhary in his place.

However, the rebel faction passed a resolution retaining Shinde as their group leader and appointed Bharat Gogawale as the chief whip in place of Sunil Prabhu. Prabhu had sent letters to the rebels, asking them to attend the legislature party meeting on Wednesday evening in Mumbai or face action under the anti-defection law. 


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News Network
June 23,2022


Kabul, June 23: Afghan authorities are struggling to reach a remote area hit by an earthquake that killed at least 1,000 people as poor communications and a lack of proper roads hampered their efforts, officials said.

“We can’t reach the area, the networks are too weak, we trying to get updates,” Mohammad Ismail Muawiyah, a spokesman for the top Taliban military commander in hardest-hit Paktika province, told Reuters news agency on Thursday, referring to telephone networks.

Survivors dug by hand through villages reduced to rubble by a magnitude 5.9 earthquake that struck early on Wednesday about 160km (100 miles) southeast of Kabul, in arid mountains dotted with small settlements near the border with Pakistan.

The quake was Afghanistan’s deadliest in 20 years, and officials said the toll could rise. An estimated 1,500 others were reported injured.

Access to the affected eastern provinces of Khost and Paktika has been hampered by road blocks due to the earthquake as well as prior landslides from recent heavy rains.

In Paktika’s hard-hit Gayan district, villagers stood atop a pile of mud bricks that once were a home. Others carefully walked through dirt alleyways, gripping onto damaged walls with exposed timber beams to make their way.

Survivors quickly prepared the district’s dead, including children and an infant, for burial.

“We ask the Islamic emirate and the whole country to come forward and help us,” a survivor, who gave his name as Hakimullah, told The Associated Press. “We are with nothing and have nothing, not even a tent to live in.”

Helicopters were used to reach the injured and deliver urgent medical supplies and food provisions. Authorities confirmed 1,800 households have been destroyed.

Sultan Mahmood, Spera district’s chief, told Al Jazeera that 29 people have been killed in the area, 42 injured and 500 homes have been destroyed, with the remote village of Afghan-Dubai being hit the hardest.

The Taliban government has appealed for international aid. Most aid agencies pulled out of the country and many governments imposed sanctions on Afghanistan’s banking sector and cut billions of dollars worth of aid after the Taliban took control in August last year.

Abdul Qahar Balkhi, the foreign affairs ministry’s spokesperson, told a press conference that “entire villages have been razed to the ground”.

“Despite the sanctions that have been imposed by the international community, the government has done whatever it can in its capacity and the Afghan Red Crescent has immediately dispatched emergency aid to the area, along with the Turkish Red Crescent and other agencies,” Balkhi said.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid wrote on Twitter that eight trucks of food and other necessities from Pakistan arrived in Paktika. He also said on Thursday that two planes of humanitarian aid from Iran and another from Qatar had arrived in the country.

Neil Turner, country director for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Afghanistan, said in a statement that Taliban authorities had granted humanitarian agencies full access to affected areas.

However, according to Ramiz Alakbarov, the UN deputy special representative to Afghanistan, the Taliban did not formally request that the UN mobilise international search-and-rescue teams or obtain equipment from neighbouring countries.

Many international aid agencies are wary of dealing directly with the Taliban due to sweeping international sanctions, while others have left Afghanistan altogether after the Taliban takeover last August.

Al Jazeera’s Ali Latifi, reporting from the Paktika province, said World Food Programme (WFP) trucks could be seen heading to affected areas as well as convoys from other international organisations, but that poor weather conditions on Wednesday had prevented much of the aid from reaching people in need.

At the Paktika regional hospital, badly injured patients were being turned away. “The Paktika regional hospital still lacks very important resources,” Latifi said. “For instance, they don’t have a helicopter, so patients have to be sent to Kabul by road,” a journey that takes on average five hours.

The United States on Wednesday expressed sorrow and said it would look for ways to help, including through potential talks with Taliban rulers.

“President Biden is monitoring developments and has directed USAID and other federal government partners to assess US response options to help those most affected,” Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, said.

The Khost province, one of the most affected by the earthquake, is home to thousands of internally displaced Afghans, returnees, and refugees from Waziristan who had already been displaced.

The death toll reported as of Thursday was equal to that of a quake in 2002 in northern Afghanistan. Those are the deadliest since 1998, when an earthquake of 6.1 in magnitude and subsequent tremors in the remote northeast killed at least 4,500 people.


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News Network
June 21,2022

Bengaluru, June 21: Karnataka police have intensified investigations into the drugs case involving Siddhanth Kapoor, the son of actor Shakti Kapoor.

Notices have been served to foreign and Indian models who participated in the rave party organised in a luxury Bengaluru hotel with Siddhanth Kapoor in connection with use and consumption of drugs.

According to police, 150 models and celebrities attended the rave party and notices have been issued to 40 foreign and Indian models. They have been asked to appear for the investigation within a week.

Six female models have already appeared for the investigations and got their statements recorded. The transactions and connections of models and celebrities are found to be suspicious and is being probed, sources say.

The probe has revealed that the foreign nationals who participated in the rave party were staying illegally in the country even after expiry of visa period.

The rave party in which drugs were found was attended by many celebrities and models. The police are still investigating the source of drugs. Though CCTV footage is verified, the police are yet to locate the persons who dumped drugs near the dustbin.

On June 12, the Halasuru police of Bengaluru city conducted raids on a luxury hotel following a tip-off about a rave party where drugs are circulated.

The police had detailed 35 persons, including Siddhanth Kapoor -- also the brother of actress Shraddha Kapoor -- and conducted medical tests. The tests have confirmed consumption of drugs by six persons, including Kapoor.

Later, the accused were released on station bail. Siddhanth Kapoor had told police during the inquiry that someone had given him water and cigarettes laced with drugs. He had also told the investigators that he did not know about it.

Bhimashankar Guled DCP (East) had stated that Siddhanth Kapoor has not agreed that he had consumed drugs. "Kapoor is claiming that it was mixed in his drinks offered by someone and that he did not know about drugs. He said that he had come to Bengaluru 40 times and attended parties as DJ. This was the fourth time he had come to the hotel and was arrested," DCP Guled had said.

"We have taken a guest list and suspicious persons will be called for questioning," he had stated.

The police have sent the mobiles of the accused to the Forensic Science Laboratory for data retrieval. The police are investigating the nexus of Siddhanth Kapoor and others with drug peddling.

The police have also sent notice to the luxury hotel owner and organisers of the rave party. The event management company representatives are also called for investigations.

A case has been registered under IPC Sections 20 A, 22 B, 27 B. The police had arrested Akhil Soni, Business Manager of Mind Fire Solutions, Harjoth Singh, an industrialist, Hani, a digital marketing entrepreneur and Akhil, a photographer.

The police had taken 7 grams of MDMA crystals and 10 grams of Ganja into custody after conducting a raid on a rave party organised at the luxury hotel The Park in Bengaluru on June 12. 


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