Actor Arjun Rampal arrives at Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) office, in Mumbai on Friday.
Actor Arjun Rampal arrives at Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) office, in Mumbai on Friday.

Mumbai: In a fresh arrest in the drugs probe related to the Sushant Singh Rajput case, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) have arrested an Australian national, with alleged links to Agisilaos Demetriades, the brother of the girlfriend of actor Arjun Rampal.

The accused, identified as Paul Bartel – is an architect by profession and resides in Santacruz. “Bartel has been arrested under charges of consumption and conspiracy. He was in close contact with Agisilaos and has been consuming three to four types of different drugs,” said a senior NCB officer, adding, “he has been sent to judicial custody for 14 days”.

Bartel is the second foreign national to be arrested in the case which has been in the spotlight as the NCB has been probing Bollywood celebrities in connection with it. Agisilaos, a South African national, became the first foreigner to be arrested in the case. The NCB has alleged that Agisilaos is part of a drug syndicate and has been in touch with the other accused arrested in the Rajput case.

He has been charged under section 27A of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. Sources said that Bartel is employed with a multinational firm. The agency conducted searches at his Santacruz residence in this regard.

Rampal appeared before the agency for the first time on Friday, after being summoned in the drug probe. He was questioned by Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede, who has been unearthing the drug network in the city. “The investigation is still open and Rampal has been asked to appear whenever required, based on the investigations. We are verifying certain findings,” the source said.

The actor was questioned for about six hours in NCB’s Ballard Estate office. Rampal said he was co-operating with the investigations and had nothing to do with drugs. “They wanted to question people connected with the case. I agree with the investigation done by the NCB team,” Rampal said, while speaking to the media after his questioning. When asked about the recovery of medicines regulated under the NDPS Act from his residence, Rampal said the prescriptions had been handed over to the agency. Rampal’s girlfriend Gabriella Demetriades was questioned by the NCB on Wednesday and Thursday. On Monday morning, the NCB had searched the premises of Rampal’s Bandra flat and seized electronic gadgets and medicines.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal