The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) interrogated former Mumbai Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) chief Sameer Wankhede for over five hours on Saturday.
Wankhede is accused of demanding a bribe of Rs 25 crore from Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan in exchange for not implicating his son, Aryan Khan, in the Cordelia cruise 'drug bust' case. Wankhede arrived at the CBI office in Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) at around 10:15 am and briefly stated "Satyamev Jayate" (truth alone triumphs) when approached by the media.
During the questioning, Wankhede was given a lunch break for around 30 minutes before resuming the investigation. He left the CBI office at approximately 4:30 pm.
This was Wankhede's first appearance before the agency since the case was registered against him. The CBI had summoned him for questioning on Thursday, but he did not appear.
Wankhede and four others were booked by the CBI on May 11 for alleged criminal conspiracy, threat of extortion, and bribery under the Prevention of Corruption Act based on a complaint filed by the NCB. However, on Friday, the Bombay High Court granted Wankhede relief by directing the CBI not to take any coercive action against him until May 22.
In his plea to the High Court, Wankhede sought the quashing of the First Information Report (FIR) and claimed that Aryan Khan's name was initially included as an accused in the 2021 drugs-on-cruise case but was later dropped.
His petition also presented phone chat transcripts with Shah Rukh Khan during Aryan's custody, where Khan pleaded for kindness towards his son and praised Wankhede's integrity.
Aryan Khan was arrested by the NCB on October 3, 2021, following an alleged drug seizure on the Cordelia cruise ship. However, he was granted bail three weeks later, as the NCB failed to substantiate its charges against him.
The CBI alleged that certain NCB officers conspired to accept bribes from the accused individuals in return for allowing them to evade charges in the drug case.