Aryan Khan case: NCB witness accuses Wankhede of extortion, fears for his own safety

"Gosavi was talking to D’souza during this time and told D’souza to ask for Rs.25 crore and not settle for less than Rs.18 crore, as Rs.8 crore were to be paid to Wankhede,” Prabhakar Sail said

Prabhakar Sail
Prabhakar Sail

Gautam S Mengle

In yet another sensational twist connected to the Aryan Khan arrest, a personal bodyguard employed by the NCB’s panch witness, K P Gosavi, on Sunday claimed that he had overheard Gosavi talk about extorting lakhs of rupees and paying a share of it to the Narcotics Control Bureau’s zonal head, Sameer Wankhede.

Aryan, the son of superstar Shah Rukh Khan, was arrested by the NCB on October 3 on a drug consumption charge, although, according to all submissions made by the central agency so far, nothing was recovered from Aryan’s direct possession. Two others, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha, were also arrested and all of them are currently lodged in the Arthur Road Central Jail. Their bail plea is slated for hearing before the Bombay High Court on Tuesday.

The person to make these latest allegations has been identified as Prabhakar Sail (40), who was working as Gosavi’s personal bodyguard. Gosavi himself is untreaceable ever since Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader addressed a press conference shortly after Aryan’s arrest, revealing that Gosavi has several criminal cases registered against him.

In a video, Sail stated that he has been working for Gosavi since July 2021 and that Gosavi took him along on the day of the raid on the Cordelia cruise liner. Sail allegedly helped Gosavi and the NCB identify some of the detainees in the raid, whose pictures had been shared with him.

In a notorised affidavit, Sail revealed that Gosavi was in a huddle with NCB officials at the agency’s office since early morning itself on October 2.

“As seen in big cases, witnesses often are killed or taken away and I therefore want to state the truth,” Sail said in the affidavit.

Kiran Gosavi
Kiran Gosavi

"On 2nd October at about 7:35 [a.m.], Kiran Gosavi called me and said that he is sending me a location on WhatsApp, and told me to come to the location. When I saw the location, it was shown as NCB office. I reached there by taxi and saw white Innova car MH-12-JG-3000 parked opposite NCB office. I asked the driver Vijay Suryavanshi as to where is KP Gosavi. He told me that Gosavi is in NCB office and he is in a meeting with NCB official (sic)," Sail said in the affidavit.

He further added, "I was with the driver at about 10:00 a.m. Kiran Gosavi called the driver and came down with NCB officer. Kiran Gosavi and the said officer left in the said Innova and instructed me to wait there itself. At 12 p.m. KP Gosavi called me and instructed me to come at Green Gate and wait."

"At about 1:23 p.m. Kiran Gosavi sent some photographs on my WhatsApp and told me to keep a watch and identify the people in the photos and to further inform him that if any of the said persons are coming to board the cruise through green gate. Accordingly, I identified one person from the said photos and informed him...On 4:23 he replied to me that said person who I identified is caught and that 13 people are arrested," Prabhakar Sail said.

“We then went back to the NCB office, where Wankhede and other NCB officers made me sign as a panch witness as well as on several blank sheets of paper and also took my Aadhaar Card details. Next, we picked up one Sam D’souza around half a kilometre away from the NCB office. Gosavi and D’souza had a meeting, after which we drove towards Lower Parel, with D’souza following our Innova in his own car. Gosavi was talking to D’Souza during this time and told D’souza to ask for Rs 25 crore and not settle for less than Rs 18 crore, as Rs. 8 crore were to be paid to Wankhede,” Sail said.

He further alleged that after their cars stopped, Shah Rukh Khan’s manager Pooja Dadlani came to meet Gosavi and D’souza, and that this meeting was held inside her Mercedes car. Incidentally, Dadlani had visited the NCB office in Mumbai just a day ago, reportedly to submit some documents to the agency.

In his video, Sail goes on to state that he later picked up two bags of cash from Tardeo and delivered them to Gosavi, and then, on the latter’s instructions, delivered Rs 38 lakh to D’souza near the Trident Hotel. During this time, D’souza allegedly took objection to the fact that he was expecting Rs 50 lakh and had received only Rs 38 lakh, which he also spoke to Gosavi about on the phone.

“I am releasing this video today because I have been following the developments in the case since Aryan Khan’s arrest. My wife has been receiving calls from people claiming to be policemen. I am scared of Sameer Wankhede. If something happens to my family, who will I live for?” Sail ends his video by saying.

Calling it a ‘sad and deplorable’ move by his detractors, Wankhede said, “We will give a fitting reply to this.”

(With inputs from Santoshee G. Mishra in Mumbai)

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