Close associate of NCP leaders is mastermind of cruise drugs episode, claims BJP leader

Mohit Bharatiya also alleged that fromer State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had met a drug peddler and Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s aide Chinku Pathan

BJP leader Mohit Bharatiya on Saturday alleged that one Sunil Patil from Dhule, "who is closely associated with NCP leaders including former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh", is the mastermind of the cruise drug bust episode in which Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan is an accused.

Addressing a press conference in Mumbai, Mr. Bharatiya also alleged that Mr. Deshmukh had met a drug peddler and Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s aide Chinku Pathan at the Sahyadri State guest house in Mumbai when a strict lockdown was in force.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesperson and Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik termed the allegations an "unsuccessful attempt by (NCB Mumbai zonal director) Sameer Wankhede’s private army to misguide and divert the attention from the truth".

Mr. Bharatiya, a former general secretary of Mumbai BJP, also claimed that Kiran Gosavi, a witness of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in the drugs-on-cruise case, is an associate of Sunil Patil.

He claimed Mr. Patil had been in touch with Sam D’Souza and Gosavi since October 1 before the cruise ship was raided by the NCB.

An independent witness and Gosavi’s bodyguard Prabhakar Sail had last month claimed that he had overheard Mr. Gosavi discussing a ₹25 crore pay-off deal over the phone with Mr. D’Souza, including ₹8 crore for Sameer Wankhede after Aryan Khan was arrested.

Mr. Wankhede had denied all the allegations against him.

"Sunil Patil, whose name surfaced during an investigation into corruption allegations against NCB officials, is closely associated with several NCP leaders including former home minister Anil Deshmukh. Patil is the mastermind of the whole conspiracy of the cruise drugs case. He is among the founder members of the NCP and closely associated with several NCP leaders for the past 20 years," alleged Mr. Bharatiya.

He said Mr, Patil is a "close friend" of Anil Deshmukh’s son Hrishikesh Deshmukh.

"(Mr.) Patil is involved in transfer/posting rackets (of police officers) during the previous Congress-NCP governments from 1999 to 2014 and again from 2019 when the Maha Vikas Aghadi came to power," Mr. Bharatiya alleged.

On January 21, 2021, the NCB busted a drugs factory operated by Chinku Pathan in Dongri in Mumbai, he alleged.

"The NCB team had seized weapons and drugs," he claimed.

Meanwhile, Mr. Malik said he would "reveal the truth tomorrow" in a press conference.

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