Bollywood actor Arjun Rampal is being examined in two cases being probed by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), which raided his home on Monday morning.
NCB sources confirmed that the agency would be questioning Rampal in two cases – Nos 16 and 24.
Case No. 16 is linked with the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, in which the agency has already arrested Agisilaos Demetriades, the brother of Rampal’s girlfriend Gabriella Demetriades. The others arrested include actor Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik and several more, linked to alleged peddling of banned narcotics substances.
The second case, No. 24, in which Rampal will be probed, pertains to an international drug trafficking case, in which Agisilaos and former Dharma Productions employee Kshitij Prasad have been taken in custody. The duo was first arrested in the case linked to Rajput’s death but the NCB sought their custody before the court after “their role came forth in the other case”.
In crackdowns at locations in Vasai and Andheri last month, the NCB had recovered 1kg cocaine, 2kg Phencyclidine (PCP), 29.3kg MDA and 70 gm Mephedrone. In an operation in Jammu related to the case, 56kg hashish was seized. The agency claimed the racket used international courier services. The NCB had made 10 arrests, including that of a Nigerian national.
The 'Om Shanti Om' star and his girlfriend have been asked to appear before the agency on Wednesday. The searches at his residence in Capri Heights in Bandra come a day after the agency searched the premises of film producer Firoz A Nadiadwala in an alleged drug case. Incidentally, Rajput had moved to Mount Blanc apartment in Joggers Park in Bandra, from Capri Heights, where he earlier resided.
“Rampal will be examined in both cases –16 and 24. His girlfriend’s brother is already being examined and we are probing certain fresh findings,” said a senior NCB officer privy to the investigation. “We have seized electronic gadgets and medicines which come under The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act) during the searches,” said the officer. Investigations are underway to check if the medicines were prescribed. The agency also questioned Rampal’s driver, who was later allowed to leave.
Rampal will be probed by the agency on the basis of their investigations based on the arrest of Agisilaos, a South African, and the first foreigner to be arrested in the case. The NCB has alleged that Demetriades is part of the drug syndicate and has been in touch with the other accused arrested in the Rajput case.
On the basis of information, a room at a resort in Lonavla had been searched, where Demetriades was staying with his fiance, and 0.8 grams of small, round, black sticky substance, purportedly charas, was found. Searches at his Khar residence had led to the seizure of a strip of Alprazolam tablets.
The NCB has been investigating if there was any consumption, procurement, usage and transportation of banned substances. The ambit of the probe has widened to investigate if peddlers have been supplying banned narcotics to celebrities.