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Monday, October 18, 2021

Aryan Khan WhatsApp Chats Show He Trafficked Drugs, Claim Investigators

Drugs-on-Cruise Case: Aryan Khan was arrested along with his friend Arbaaz Merchant and six others.

New Delhi:

Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan “indulged in illicit drug trafficking” and was involved in the “procuring and distribution of drugs”, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) today told a court in Mumbai. The star son’s defence team argued that he was “not present” during the drugs-on-ship raid, had no cash to buy drugs and didn’t have drugs on him.

After a hearing that started late in the afternoon, the court said Aryan Khan’s bail request would be taken up tomorrow. He has been in a Mumbai jail since Friday.

Aryan Khan – Accused No. 1 for the NCB – sourced drugs and was in touch with “some persons abroad who appear to be a part of an International Drug Network for illicit procurement of drugs”, the anti-drugs agency said in a statement to the court this morning.

“WhatsApp chats reveal the accused was in touch with a foreign national for bulk quantity of hard drugs,” it said, adding that the probe so far has revealed his role in the conspiracy.

All those arrested “are inextricably connected with each other” and “it is not possible to dissect the role, involvement of one accused from that of the other”, said the NCB. “The ingredients of conspiracy are clear and evident,” said the agency, adding that “one of the applicants cannot be considered in isolation”.

Aryan Khan, 23, was arrested along with his friend Arbaaz Merchant and six others after the drugs raid on the cruise on October 2.

Aryan Khan’s lawyer Amit Desai stressed that no drugs were found on him when officers in disguise raided a rave party on the ship. In fact, he was not even on the ship when the raids started, he argued.

“The allegation of illicit trafficking is inherently absurd. This boy who has nothing, he was not even on the vessel. It is an absurd and false allegation,” said Mr Desai, who is also actor Salman Khan’s lawyer.

He also claimed Aryan Khan “had no cash” when he was on the ship, so he could not have bought drugs. The NCB dismissed the argument, saying Aryan Khan used to source his drugs from Arbaaz Merchant.

“Even though from some accused persons there is no recovery or recovery of small quantity of contraband, the participation by acts and omissions of such persons who have acted in concert, conspiracy in the commission of offences forms the basis of this investigation,” said the bureau.

The situation was such that “the quantum of recovery from an individual accused becomes inconsequential”. Bail to Aryan Khan would affect the investigation as he could tamper with evidence and influence witnesses, the NCB said.

“Accused no 1 has a role in so far as illicit procurement and distribution of contraband is concerned… It is prima facie revealed that Aryan Khan used to procure contraband from Accused no 2 (Arbaaz). And sourced connected to Accused no 2 from whose conscious possession (shoes) 6 grams of charas was recovered. Aryan and Arbaaz have been associated in close collaboration,” said the agency to the court.

Aryan’s parents Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan have not spoken on his arrest and the allegations so far. Many in the film industry like Salman Khan, Farah Khan and Hrithik Roshan have come out in the support of the Khans.

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