INDIA. Mumbai: Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son, Aryan Khan, and seven others were detained by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Sunday, following a raid on a passenger cruise ship off the coast of Mumbai, on Saturday evening, during which the drugs were found in their possession.
A case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) has been registered against the eight accused, who include two women, were being produced before the holiday magistrate for remand by the NCB.
Apart from Aaryan Khan, the others who were detained include Munmun Dhamecha, Nupur Sarika, Ismeet Singh, Mohak Jaswal, Vikrant Chhoker, Gomit Chopra, and Arbaaz Merchant, the NCB official said, adding that different drugs like MDMA, ecstasy, cocaine, MD (mephedrone) and charas were recovered from them during the raid.
Mohak Jaswal, Nupur Sarika, and Gomit Chopra are from Delhi and they had come to Mumbai a few days back. Mohak is stated to be a fashion designer, while Gomit is a hairstylist. Arbaz Merchant had reportedly taken Aryan khan to the cruise, while Aryan told the NCB officials that he had gone to the ship only as a VIP guest. The phones of all eight have been seized to investigate their chats for clues regarding their association with drugs
A case ( CR No 94/21) has been registered under the NDPS Act and an investigation is underway. Following a tip-off that banned drugs were being used on the ship, owned by Cordelia Cruises, an NCB team, led by zonal director Sameer Wankhede, swooped on the Goa-bound ship and recovered drugs like MDMA, cocaine, and ecstasy from some of the passengers, the agency said in a statement.
“Based on specific information, the officials of NCB Mumbai conducted a raid on Cordelia cruise which was bound from Mumbai to Goa on October 02. During the operation, all suspects were searched and different narcotics drugs like MDMA/ Ecstasy, Cocaine, MD (Mephedrone), and charas were recovered. A total of eight persons including two women were apprehended and their role is being investigated about the said recovery,” the NCB added.
The Union Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, and the Shipping Corporation of India will be given a detailed report on the matter of the rave party busted on a Mumbai cruise ship, the NCB statement added.
When the ship left Mumbai and was to reach mid-sea, the first party began where allegedly drugs were being consumed. Following this, NCB officials present on the ship started conducting searches and apprehended those consuming drugs, and seized the contraband.
Jurgen Bailom, President and CEO of Cordelia Cruises, confirmed that the narcotics department found drugs in some passengers’ luggage. “These passengers were off-loaded by Cordelia immediately. The sailing of the cruise got delayed because of this. Cordelia apologized to the guest families for the delay, which resulted in the delay of their enjoyment of facilities of all kinds, including stage shows and various kinds of foods, Garba dancing in this festive season, and other events planned on the ship,” Bailom said.
“Using this statement, I wish to express that Cordelia Cruises is in no way, directly or indirectly, connected to this incident. Cordelia Cruises had chartered its ship for a private event to a Delhi-based event management company. Cordelia Cruises is extremely mindful of providing wholesome entertainment to families who choose to travel with us. This incident is contrarian and far from the culture that Cordelia Cruises represents. We, at Cordelia Cruises, condemn all acts such as these and will strictly refrain from letting our ship out for similar events in the future. Nonetheless, Cordelia Cruises is extending our full support and cooperating with the authorities”, Bailom added.
The NCB has also summoned six of the organizers who had planned the cruise party. Kashiff Khan, managing director of FTV India, is also under scanner. The event was organized under the supervision of Khan. The event was organized by Fashion TV India along with Delhi-based company “Namascray Experience”. The ship had started from Mumbai for a three-day musical voyage to Goa when it was intercepted by the NCB. Onboard, various events were planned with DJs from abroad, including DR Stan Kolev from the US, Raoul K. from Ivory Coast, and Kayza from Morocco. According to the sources, the entry fee for the party was in the range of Rs 1 lakh.
Bollywood has been on the NCB’s radar for drug consumption in particular since last year when in the case related to Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, actor Rhea Chakraborty spilled the beans on a long list of peers from her fraternity including Sara Ali Khan and Rakul Preet Singh—both of who are her contemporaries in Bollywood—as having consumed narcotic substances. Ever since then, the NCB has summoned several celebrities from the Hindi film industry, including Deepika Padukone, about the consumption of drugs.