Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], October 10 (ANI): Reacting to allegations concerning raid on a cruise ship off Mumbai coast earlier this month, a senior Narcotics Control Bureau official said on Saturday that nine independent witnesses were involved in the operation and "none of them was known to NCB prior to the operation".
"A total of nine independent witnesses were involved in the operation and Manish Bhanushali and KP Gosavi were among them. None of the independent witnesses including these two persons were known to NCB prior to this operation," NCB Dy DG Gyaneshwar Singh said.
He said on specific information, a team of NCB Mumbai Zone raided the Goa-bound cruise ship and "intercepted eight persons on the spot along with various drugs".
"As per the due procedure established by the law of the land, independent public witnesses are mandatorily required to be present during seizure operations. NCB strongly adheres to the procedure and involves at least two independent witnesses in all of its operations," he said.
Singh added that the focus is mainly on "operation and drug recovery" and field verification of the witnesses is not possible.
He said as high-profile persons were involved, the detained persons were taken to NCB office to avoid large crowds and avoid any unwanted leakages as also for their safety.
NCP leader Nawab Malik had earlier alleged that NCB had acted "on the directions of the BJP".
"This is a conspiracy to defame the Maharashtra government and the Bollywood," he said.
Citing a video in which those detained from the Mumbai cruise were seen being taken to the NCB office, Nawab Malik has also alleged that "the person taking him (Aryan Khan) to the office is a BJP leader Manish Bhanushali."
Eight persons including including Aryan Khan, Arbaz Seth Merchant, Munmun Dhamecha, Vikrant Chhoker, Ismeet Singh, Nupur Sarika, Gomit Chopra and Mohak Jaswal were produced before Mumbai's Esplanade Court on Monday which remanded them to Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) custody till October 7. (ANI)