A Mumbai court on Thursday granted the Narcotics Control Bureau seven days of custody of Zaid Vilatra, one of the accused it had arrested in the drug probe related to the Sushant Singh Rajput case.
According to NCB sources, Vilatra was produced before a court and his remand sought on the grounds that he was allegedly involved in many drug dealings. The public prosecutor cited Section 27 (a) read with Section 29 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, suggesting that Vilatra is involved in the drug cartel.
However, Vilatra's lawyer, Tarak Sayed opposed the remand on the grounds that only cash was seized from his client which is a bailable offence. The court granted the NCB custody of Vilatra till September 9. The NCB, on the intervening night of August 27-28, carried out searches in Mumbai and two persons, namely Abbas Lakhani and Karn Arora were arrested, and the seizure of 'bud' (curated marijuana) was affected from their possession.
The official said that the detailed network analysis and the follow up investigation, uncovered the linkages of Lakhani with Vilatra. "After due procedure and taking evidence on record, Vilatra was apprehended," the official said, adding that the NCB also recovered Rs 9.55 lakh and foreign currency amounting to $2,081, 180 British pound and 15 dirham was recovered from him.
The official further said that, Vilatra disclosed the amount as proceeds of drug peddling. "During questioning Vilatra disclosed that he runs an eatery in Bandra, which was not giving any pecuniary gains since lockdown."
The official said that Vilatra also disclosed that he is into drug peddling, especially bud, through which he used to earn a substantial amount of money.
"Based on Vilatra's interrogation, arrested alleged drug dealer Abdul Basit Parihar was made to join the investigation. It was learnt that linkages of Parihar with the earlier accused persons, on the preliminary inquiry based on the details submitted by the ED, were found," the official said.
NCB source said that Parihar had connections with Samuel Miranda, who was also the close associate of Rhea Chakraborty. Miranda is accused of procuring drugs on the instructions of Rhea's brother Showik.
The development comes days after the NCB registered a case against Rhea, her brother Showik, talent manager Jaya Saha, Sushant's co-manager Shruti Modi, and Goa-based hotelier Gaurav Arya under Sections 20 (b) 28, 29 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
The NCB registered the case after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) wrote to it on Tuesday after the WhatsApp messages between Rhea and Shruti Modi, Miranda and Pithani came to light.