In a dramatic twist to the cruise liner drug raid, one of the witnesses of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in the case, Prabhakar Sail, a personal bodyguard by profession, has made stunning claims in a notarised affidavit filed by him.
Sail, a resident of Andheri (E), has claimed that he heard another NCB witness and his employer KP Gosavi talking to someone over the phone and they were discussing a payoff of Rs 8 crore to Sameer Wankhede, Zonal Director of Mumbai NCB.
The affidavit states that Sail was present in a car during the incriminating telephonic conversation between Gosavi and one Sam D'Souza whom the former met near the NCB office.
"Gosavi was talking to Sam on the phone and stated that you put a bomb (exaggerated demand) of 25 crores and let's settle at 18 final because we have to give Rs 8 crores to Sameer Wankhede," the affidavit states.
Sail further claims that when they were at Lower Parel Bridge, a woman came in a Mercedes car to the spot. Sam, Gosavi and the woman then sat in the Mercedes and started talking. Media reports have identified the woman as Shah Rukh Khan's manager Pooja Dadlani.
‘‘Then we all left after 15 minutes. Gosavi and myself reached Mantralaya where Gosavi spoke to someone and (we) again left for Vashi. On reaching Vashi, Gosavi told me to take his car and collect Rs 50 lakh cash from someone at Tardeo. I reached around 9:45 am at the said place where someone came in a car and gave me two bags filled with cash which I took to Vashi and gave it to Gosavi. In the evening, Gosavi gave the same bag of cash to me and told me to give it to Sam. Later Sam called me and asked to meet him near a hotel in Mumbai. I met him and handed over the bag of cash to him in his car. However, when he counted the cash it was only Rs 38 lakhs. I and returned to Vashi,’’ recounts Sail’s affidavit.
Sail Prabhakar -- the first of the nine witnesses named by the agency -- further states in the affidavit that Gosavi is missing and he fears that NCB officials and other persons involved may kill or abduct him as has possibly happened to Gosavi. ‘‘As seen in big cases, witnesses are often killed or taken away and I therefore want to state the truth," the affidavit adds.
In the affidavit, Sail has also given a detailed account of the day on which the cruise ship was raided. He has said he was present near the boarding area on October 2 and was asked to identify some people boarding the vessel. He said he was sent a series of photographs on WhatsApp to help with the identification.
"At about 10.30 pm I was called (by) 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 a few others with NCB officials," the affidavit states. After Aryan Khan and the others were taken to the NCB office, Sail says he was asked by Gosavi and Sameer Wankhede to sign some blank papers.
‘‘At about 12:30 am, Gosavi accompanied by NCB officials took Aryan Khan in his car to the NCB office. I walked to the NCB office. At around 1 am, I received a call from Gosavi instructing me that I should sign as pancha (witness) and called me inside the NCB office. There, Sameer Wankhede instructed his staff to take my signatures and name. One Salekar from the NCB told me to sign on 10 blank papers," Sail has claimed in his affidavit.
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