Former Mumbai NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede has reacted after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) registered a money laundering case against him. Speaking to ETimes, Sameer said that he will 'give appropriate reply in court at the appropriate time'. The ED filed the case after taking cognisance of a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR against him in an alleged ₹25-crore bribe demand from Shah Rukh Khan's family to spare his son Aryan Khan in a drugs case, news agency PTI reported on Saturday citing official sources.
Sameer said, "ED had registered the said ECIR in 2023. It is surprising that this ECIR is based on the CBI FIR, which is already under question before the Bombay HC. Since the matter is subjudice, I don't intend to comment anything further. I will give the appropriate reply in the court at the appropriate time. I reiterate that I have full faith in the Indian Judiciary. Satyamev Jayate."
ED has booked the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), as per the PTI report. Some former Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officials have also been summoned. Sameer, a 2008-batch Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer of the Customs and Indirect Taxes cadre, has moved the Bombay High Court seeking protection from any coercive action by the anti-money laundering agency.
Sameer was booked by the CBI in May last year on charges of seeking ₹25-crore bribe for not framing Aryan Khan in the drugs-on-cruise case, officials had said. Aryan was arrested in the alleged drug bust case on the Cordelia cruise ship on October 2, 2021. The (CBI) booked Sameer Wankhede and others for alleged criminal conspiracy (120-B IPC), and threat of extortion (388 IPC) besides provisions pertaining to bribery under the Prevention of Corruption Act on a complaint from the NCB.
A year later, the NCB filed a charge sheet in the drugs-on-cruise case against 14 accused but gave a clean chit to Aryan. The case took a twist when an 'independent witness' had claimed in 2021 that ₹25 crore was demanded by an NCB official and other persons, including a witness Gosavi, to let off Aryan. The NCB later conducted an internal vigilance probe against Sameer and others and shared the contents with the CBI, leading to registration of a case against him.