Updated on: Sunday, November 07, 2021, 10:58 PM IST

Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik claims Mumbai cruise drugs bust was elaborate plan to kidnap Aryan Khan

NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik claims Mumbai cruise drugs bust was elaborate plan to kidnap Aryan Khan | PTI

NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik claims Mumbai cruise drugs bust was elaborate plan to kidnap Aryan Khan | PTI


In yet another revelation, Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik on Sunday claimed that the cruise liner episode of October 2 was no mid-sea rave party bust but a kidnapping and ransom operation. It is further claimed that BJP leader Mohit Kamboj was the mastermind of the conspiracy which finally led to the arrest of Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan. Kamboj allegedly colluded with the Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) Mumbai zonal director, Sameer Wankhede, in kidnapping Aryan and demanding ransom.

“The cruise drug bust case was a case of kidnapping and ransom and it was not what appeared to be,” said Malik. He said Aryan Khan did not buy a ticket for the cruise party but it was Pratik Gaba and Amir Furniturewala who brought him there. “The trap was laid through Kamboj. Aryan was kidnapped and ransomed; after the initial demand of Rs 25 crore, the deal was settled at Rs 18 crore,” he claimed.

Malik reiterated that the NCB had let off three individuals — Rishabh Sachdeva, Pratik Gaba and Amir Furniturewala — after having allegedly detained them during the raid on the rave party. He said that Sachdeva was Kamboj’s brother-in-law, who was released because of Kamboj’s close relations with Wankhede.

Malik said that one selfie -- the photo taken by a private detective and witness in the cruise drug bust case, K P Gosavi, with Aryan Khan in the NCB cabin -- had “spoiled the extortion play.” (Gosavi was recently arrested by the Pune police in a 2018 cheating case and has a number of fraud complainsts lodged against him in Pune, Mumbai and Thane).

Refrring to the alleged collusion, Malik claimed Kamboj and Wankhede had met outside the Oshiwara graveyard on October 7, a few days after Aryan was arrested in the case.

“After this, Wankhede panicked and complained to the police that they were being followed. They were lucky that the nearby CCTV was not working and we couldn’t get the feed,” Malik said, adding that Kamboj is Wankhede’s ‘partner-in-crime’ in an extortion racket.

In response to Kamboj’s allegation that Dhule-based Sunil Patil, who is closely associated with NCP leaders, was the mastermind of the cruise drug party, Malik claimed he had never met Patil and the latter had no links with the NCP. Instead, he claimed, Patil was a member of Wankhede’s ‘private army’ and had links with top BJP leaders.

“Sunil Patil is not an NCP worker, nor have I ever met him. Photos are, however, in circulation showing him with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and with other BJP leaders. Likewise, Manish Bhanushali, another controversial NCB witness alleged to be a BJP worker, has had his pictures taken with top-ranking BJP brass — from Prime Minister Modi to others. I am not accusing any political party but I do contend that this Patil is a fraud and also part of Wankhede’s private army,” said Malik.

Malik also clarified that he was not against the BJP or the NCB and neither was it a tussle between the state and the Centre but his fight was against the drug menace and he would take it to its logical conclusion. He however, appealed to the BJP to stop shielding ‘dubious’ characters like Kamboj, Bhanushali and Patil. He also called upon the NCB to weed out their department of ‘rotten fish’, including Wankhede and three others. “The gang of four (chandal chaukdi) are spoiling the NCB’s reputation,” alleged Malik and said that there was no mid-sea drug bust operation as claimed by the NCB and that the entire episode was one of “sordid extortion”.

Malik said he was not scared of bogus cases being filed against him and his family as his fight was against extortion.

Moreover, Malik released a purported conversation between one Sam alias Sanville D’Souza and NCB officer V V Singh and alleged that D’Souza was also a member of Wankhede’s private army. He further alleged that the press conferences by Sam D’Souza and Kamboj were a failure. “Sam D’Souza and Kamboj are members of Wankhede’s private army and they were told to address PCs but they are getting caught in their own trap,” he said.

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Published on: Sunday, November 07, 2021, 10:58 PM IST