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Drugs case: Arjun Rampal to be quizzed by NCB today

Updated on: 13 November,2020 07:04 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Faizan Khan |

Officials said they will question the actor to ascertain if he had valid prescription for a banned painkiller found in his possession

Drugs case: Arjun Rampal to be quizzed by NCB today

Arjun Rampal. Pic/ AFP

The drug law enforcement agency has made a list of questions it wants to ask actor Arjun Rampal today, November 13, about the banned painkiller the officers had seized from his house earlier this week. The NCB, for the second consecutive day on Thursday, interrogated his partner Gabriella Demetriades in connection with the ongoing probe into the alleged drug nexus in Bollywood. 

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), during the raid at his house on November 9, found the banned drug. The Ministry of Finance had banned the drug under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act in 2018 after a massive smuggling racket was busted.

Gabriella Demetriades.
Gabriella Demetriades

"At the time of the search, we didn't find any valid prescription and nothing was shown to us [by Rampal] either. If he brings a prescription on Friday, the same will be thoroughly examined to ascertain if it's genuine and who prescribed it to him and why," said an NCB officer. The NCB refused to reveal the name of the drug, fearing it would hamper the investigation.

Officers also confirmed that Rampal has been summoned in the case linked to the later actor Sushant Singh Rajput, in which Rhea Chakraborty and her brother were arrested by the agency. They said Rampal was supposed to appear before the NCB on Wednesday, but the agency unearthed international links in the case possibly related to an international drug cartel, and questioned Australian architect Paul Bartel on Thursday. NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede confirmed the development.

Gabriella Demetriades, Arjun Rampal’s partner, arrives at the NCB office in Ballard Estate along with her lawyer and bouncers, on Thursday. PIC/SURESH KARKERA
Gabriella Demetriades, Arjun Rampal’s partner, arrives at the NCB office in Ballard Estate along with her lawyer and bouncers, on Thursday. PIC/SURESH KARKERA

Bartel's name surfaced during the questioning of Agisilaos Demetriades, Gabriella's brother. Officers said Bartel is into construction business in the city, and are currently verifying if he is part of any international drug syndicate. According to the officers, Bartel was in touch with Agisilaos and was a customer, but they suspect that he might be a part of a larger drug syndicate.

The NCB also questioned Gabriella for over six hours on Thursday. She was allowed to leave after questioning as the agency has not found any evidence linking her to the alleged Bollywood drug nexus, said officers.

Also Read: Arjun Rampal summoned by NCB on November 13 in drugs-related case

What is the banned drug found at Rampal's house?

The drug, a painkiller, was banned by the Centre in 2018 after probe agencies found that it was being smuggled at international level and has links to the terror group, the Islamic State. The NCB and police have been authorised to raid and prosecute those found in possession of the drug without a valid prescription. It is also known as 'ISIS drug' and 'fighter drug' and is trafficked from countries like the US, Canada and Amsterdam. "The drug is used widely by many global terror groups and domestic as well to boost their energy after sustaining an injury. Even the Naxals have been found using such drugs," an officer from Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad said.

Australian architect arrested

The NCB arrested Australian architect Paul Bartel (35) in connection with drugs case linked to Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. He was grilled by the agency for several hours on Thursday and was arrested on Friday morning.

NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede confirmed that Paul Bartel has been arrested under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

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