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Aryan Khan case: death of a “corruption witness”, Maharashtra to be investigated

A 36-year-old witness in the 2021 Cordelia Cruise case, which allegedly involved actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan, along with 19 others, was found dead on Friday afternoon. an inquest into the death of Prabhakar Sail, apparently of a heart attack.

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Weeks after the bust, Sail had claimed in an affidavit that he heard money being demanded by another witness, KP Gosavi, to “help” Aryan on the evening of his arrest, October 2.

Recently, the SIT which is investigating the drug case said that Sail, the panch witness from the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) during the raid, had become hostile.

Tushar Khandare, Sail’s lawyer, said he died of a heart attack and “the family do not suspect foul play”. “He had been unemployed for some time, because of which he was stressed.”

While Sail’s wife Pooja also said they had no suspicions, his mother Hiravati said he was fine until the day before and the death came as a shock. Sail, who lived in Mahul in the eastern suburbs of Mumbai, is survived by his parents, wife and two children.

Walse-Patil said many people had suspicions about the death: “How could such a strong and healthy man die suddenly?”

A senior Maharashtra police officer said an accidental death report had been filed and police were investigating. “The autopsy report is awaited. If foul play is indicated, police will file an FIR,” an officer said.

Pooja said Sail had chest pains and went alone to Chandra Hospital in Chembur. “The doctor saw his ECG and said the condition was serious and he should be admitted immediately. Within five minutes he suffered a heart attack. We saw CCTV footage of him walking through the hospital , and have no suspicion of foul play.

A parent said things had gotten worse for Sail since the Cordelia case. “Previously, he was employed as Gosavi’s bodyguard and therefore had a fixed income. After Gosavi’s arrest, he tried to find a job, but found it difficult. At one or two places he managed to find a job, he was fired after it emerged he was a witness in the NCB case.Things had gotten so bad that he was asking people for small amounts of money to survive.He was stressed by his condition.”

Sail’s name had emerged weeks after the raid on the cruise ship Cordelia, following which eight people, including Aryan, were arrested. Sail was revealed to be Gosavi’s bodyguard, who was photographed leading Aryan by hand into the NCB office. Gosavi and Sail were later identified as panch witnesses who had been taken by the NCB team for the cruise ship raid.

NCP leader Nawab Malik, who made a series of allegations against the NCB during the raid, had pointed out that Gosavi had a lengthy criminal record. Sail later claimed in an affidavit that he overheard Gosavi talking to a certain Sam D’Souza and demanding Rs 25 crore to “settle the matter”, with a deal eventually settled at Rs 18 crore. Sail claimed that Gosavi also mentioned the name of NCB Mumbai zonal manager Sameer Wankhede, saying that some of the money should go to him. also alleged to have been part of a cash drop as part of the deal, saying Gosavi met with Shah Rukh’s manager Pooja Dadlani.

While Wankhede denied the extortion allegations, he was fired as NCB Mumbai Zone Chief after some time.

Following Sail’s allegations, the BCN recorded the statements of several people, in addition to him. The findings of the investigation remain unknown. The Mumbai Police’s own investigation into the corruption allegations remains incomplete as Dadlani did not come to record his statement.

The investigation into the Cordelia case also continued: the SIT, which was entrusted with the case by the BCN after the departure of Wankhede, did not file an indictment within the time limit of 180 days which ended on March 31. 60 more days by the court to file the indictment.

Sailing turned hostile was one of the reasons SIT gave for asking for an extension.

Of the 20 people arrested in connection with Cordelia’s drug case, only two remain behind bars, with the others free on bail, including Abdul Qadir Shaikh, a 30-year-old senior corporate executive, who was allegedly detained with a commercial amount of drugs during the raid and whom the NCB accused of being a supplier, and a Nigerian national.

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