The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday questioned Tollywood actor Nandu, key accused Calvin Mascarenhas, and two others in connection with a money laundering probe linked to four-year-old drug case. Nandu, who arrived at the ED office in the morning, was quizzed for more than eight hours. He was reportedly asked about his financial transactions and bank details.
The actor was summoned by the ED for questioning on September 20. It was not clear if the ED officials summoned him early at his request or wanted to question him before grilling others.
He is the fourth Tollywood personality questioned by the ED. Director Puri Jagannadh and actors Charmee Kaur and Rakul Preet Singh were questioned since August 31.
The ED had last month issued notices to 10 persons connected to Tollywood and two others including a private club manager as part of a money laundering probe linked to the drugs racket.
Actors Rana Daggubati, Ravi Teja, Navdeep, Mumaith Khan, Tanish and Ravi Teja's driver Srinivas have also been summoned in connection the drugs racket which was busted with the arrest of drug peddlers in 2017.
The drugs racket was busted on July 2, 2017 when customs officials arrested Mascarenhas, a musician, and two others and seized drugs worth 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 the SIT 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.
It had filed a charge sheet in eight out of 12 cases. It, however, gave clean chit to the film personalities who were questioned as part of the investigation.
Meanwhile, the ED also questioned Mascarenhas and two other accused Abdul Wahed and Abdul Quddus who were caught with the drugs, grilling them about their suspected financial transactions with some Tollywood personalities.
In another development, Central Crime Station (CCS) police on Tuesday filed a charge sheet in a drug case booked against Mascarenhas in 2016. A city court accepted the charge sheet and ordered him to appear on October 11.
Mascarenhas was arrested with LSD in August 2016 by Task Force police and a case was registered at Boenpalli police station in the city. The case was later transferred to the narcotics wing of CCS. The accused was later released on bail.