The Special Enquiry Team (SET) of the Mumbai police, probing the allegations of extortion by NCB officers and others in the cruise drugs case, has established that extortion did happen. “Prima facie, the probe suggests KP Gosavi impersonated an NCB officer to extort money from Pooja Dadlani, actor Shah Rukh Khan’s manager,” said an officer. To register an offence, there needs to be a complaint, hence Dadlani has been summoned. The Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) panch witness in the cruise drugs case, Prabhakar Sail, had made the extortion allegation.
“It has been established that extortion happened. The SET’s probe conducted so far suggests that Gosavi impersonated as NCB officer to convince Dadlani and extort money from her to get Aryan Khan, son of Shah Rukh Khan, out of the case. As far as the role of NCB officers are concerned that can be investigated after the offence is registered, and for that the victim of the extortion has to register a complaint,” said a Mumbai police officer privy to the investigation.
In this scenario, Dadlani is the victim, and the SET has summoned her on Friday. She was supposed to appear before the SET earlier, but she did not, citing health reasons. The SET is looking forward to recording her statement as the complainant in the extortion case, as she is the one who gave money to Gosavi after meeting him along with other people, including Chikky Pandey. Police had summoned Pandey as well, but he did not, citing COVID-19 positive report.
According to sources, Gosavi, during a private meeting with Dadlani in Lower Parel, showed her the photographs of Aryan and an audio clip of him that he had recorded inside the NCB’s Zonal Unit, which had also gone viral on social media. The SET believes that this may be a case of bribery, where the payment was done on the assumption that the receiver of the money was from the NCB. “This may fall under the Prevention of Corruption Act, which can be investigated by the NCB’s SIT or the vigilance team that is conducting a probe against their Mumbai unit,” the officer said.
The SET is also consulting legal officials to decide whether an FIR can be registered based on Sail’s complaint of extortion. Sources said that if officers get a green signal from the legal team, they can take a suo motu cognisance of the complaint, as their enquiry establishes that a cognisance offence has been committed, and register an FIR.
Mumbai police will also seek footage of CCTV cameras at the NCB’s Mumbai office, to examine the activity of Gosavi and Manish Bhanushali, the independent witnesses of the NCB in the drugs case, and Sam D’Souza.
The SET has so far recorded the statement of more than 15 people in the extortion case. Meanwhile, the NCB’s vigilance team, led by Deputy Director-General Gyaneshwar Singh visited the spots where Gosavi met Dadlani, and from where Sail took a bag full of cash.