INDIA. Mumbai: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has once again summoned the CEO of Cordelia Cruises in connection with the drug bust conducted on one of its ships off the Mumbai coast on Saturday, even as the number of arrested in the case reached 16 on Tuesday, an official said.
The arrested persons include Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan and 7 others who have already been sent to NCB custody till Thursday. In addition, four others-Abdul Kamdar Shaikh (30), Shreyas Surendra Nair (23), Manish Rajgaria(30), and Avion Sahu (30) were arrested on Monday and 2.5-gram ecstasy and 54.3-gram Mephedrone was seized from them. Besides, four organizers belonging to a Delhi-based event management company have also been arrested.
Nair was arrested from Juhu in northwest Mumbai for supplying drugs to nearly 25 people at the cruise party. Various types of drugs, including MDMA pills and mephedrone, were recovered from him. He is reportedly a high-profile drug peddler who used to take drug orders in exchange for cryptocurrency and has been using the Darknetapp to contact people.
Following the cruise ship’s return from Goa on Monday afternoon, NCB recovered more drugs from the vessel, prompting the officials to summon Jurgen Bailom, CEO of the Waterways Leisure Tourism Pvt Ltd which runs Cordelia Cruises. The Cordelia Cruises is India’s premium cruise liner founded in 2020.
Bailom was summoned by the NCB soon after it seized drugs from the ship on Saturday night. During his interrogation, he had said that the cruise does not book any shows and they were mere” operators.” The event was held by a Delhi-based company called Namas’cray, he had said.
Hurt by the unexpected misdoings of the event management company which had chartered the ship, Bailom has categorically declared that henceforth, it would refrain from hiring out its ship for similar events in the future. “Cordelia Cruises is in no way, directly or indirectly connected to this incident. The company had chartered its ship for a private event to a Delhi-based event management company,” Bailom said in a statement.
The company has in place strict policies and rules for violating rules on board, up to USD-1,000 per violation from the passenger concerned, the disembarkation of the offending passenger/s, no refunds, and bearing all their expenses to return home, besides a permanent ban on sailing with Cordelia cruises in future.
In the meanwhile, the NCB is seeking details of the passengers who were present onboard the Goa-bound ship and also examining the CCTV footage to get more evidence against the accused persons. The teams from other zonal units are also assisting the Mumbai NCB, led by its Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede.
The NCB had seized 13 grams of cocaine, 5 grams MD, 21 grams Charas, 22 pills of MDMA, and Rs 1.33 lakh at the International Cruise Terminal at the Green Gate in South Mumbai on Saturday and more drugs were seized during subsequent arrests.
According to sources in the travel circle, the incident has come as “a rude shock”. Now all operators are planning to strengthen their systems of ‘checks and verifications’ of all passengers and those who charter the vessel for events like parties, weddings, proms, corporate functions, etc.