Actor Rakul Preet Singh on Friday arrived at the Enforcement Directorate (ED) Hyderabad zonal office in connection with a drugs case. Earlier on Tuesday, film director Puri Jagannadh reached the ED office in Hyderabad to appear before the agency officials in connection with the drugs case. The case is related to the busting of a drug racket in 2017. The ED has summoned several other film personalities of Tollywood in connection with the case.
12 big names from the industry including Rana Daggubati, Ravi Teja, Puri Jagannadh, Navdeep and others have been summoned by the agency for questioning. Many of these personalities were previously questioned by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Telangana’s Prohibition and Excise department. The drugs racket was busted on July 2, 2017 when customs officials arrested Calvin Mascarenhas, a musician, and two others and seized drugs valued at Rs 30 lakh from their possession.
They had reportedly told the investigators that they are supplying drugs to film celebrities, software engineers, and even students of some corporate schools. Mobile numbers of some Tollywood celebrities were allegedly found in their contact lists.
The Excise Department had constituted SIT for a comprehensive probe. A total of 12 cases were registered, 30 people were arrested, while 62 individuals including 11 people connected with Tollywood were examined by it under Section 67 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and Section 161 of Criminal Procedure Code.
The SIT had collected blood, hair, nail and other samples from some of those who appeared before it for question and sent them for analysis. Ravi Teja, Charmme Kaur, Mumaith Khan, Jagannadh and young actors Tarun Kumar and Navadeep were among the stars who were questioned by the SIT.
Cinematographer Shyam K. Naidu, actors Subbaraju, Tanish, Nandu and Teja's driver were also among those questioned. The SIT filed chargesheet in eight out of 12 cases. It, however, gave clean chit to the film personalities who were questioned as part of the investigation.
The accused against whom cases were booked include Rafeal Alex Victor, a South African citizen, Puttakar Ranson Joseph, working in the film industry as a manager. Joseph was the manager of leading actor Kajal Agarwal who sacked him after his arrest. An NGO, however, alleged that no attempt was made to trace the customers of the accused.
The authorities had recovered 3,000 units of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD), 105 grams of MDMA (commonly known as ecstasy), 45 grams of cocaine and other narcotic and psychotropic substances from the accused.
-with ANI inputs