Mumbai: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Wednesday arrested Sameer Khan, the son-in-law of Maharashtra Minority Affairs and Skill Development Minister Nawab Malik, in connection with their ongoing probe of seizure of high-quality marijuana from a British national who was arrested on Saturday.
This is the fifth arrest in the case. Khan was summoned by the agency and reached their Ballard Estate office on Wednesday morning. NCB sources said they had stumbled upon an alleged transaction between Khan and the accused British national Karan Sajnani, who was arrested in a case involving the import of highly potent marijuana from abroad. “Khan has been supporting Sajnani. We have found a financial trail between Khan and Sajnani,” a senior NCB officer privy to the investigation said.
An NCB statement read, “During investigation, the role of Khan, a resident of Bandra, also came to light. Khan was called for examination. After detailed examination, he has been placed under arrest. Further follow-up action is underway,” Khan was questioned by Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede.
In November last year, Malik had voiced his opinions against the arrests initiated by the anti-narcotics agency. The comments had come on the heels of the arrest of comedian Bharti Singh and her husband Haarsh Limbachiyaa in a cannabis case. “The way NCB is arresting people who consume drugs. These are addicts who should be sent to rehab, not jail. NCB’s duty is to track down drug traffickers but no action is being taken against them. Is NCB protecting them by giving publicity, arresting drug addicts, especially from the film industry?” he had asked then, according to news agency ANI. “There is something wrong within the system. They must see from where the drugs are coming. Who are the traffickers and peddlers? There is no action against them,” Malik had added.
Ramkumar Tiwari, co-owner of Mumbai’s famous Muchhad Paanwala, who was found in possession of 500 grams of suspected cannabinoids, was also arrested for his alleged links with Sajnani. On Saturday, an NCB team detected a suspicious parcel from a courier in Bandra (West) that contained marijuana. In the follow-up operation, a huge stash of imported strains of marijuana was recovered from Sajnani, a resident of Jaswant Heights in Khar (West). He has previously lived in Hong Kong as well. Two sisters –Rahila and Shaista Furniturewala– were also arrested in the case. The NCB has alleged that Rahila, who is a former celebrity manager, was “providing financial aid”. Shaista has been charged for consumption.