Cruise ship drug raid: Nawab Malik claims Sameer Wankhede let man linked to Goa drug cartels go

NCP Minister Nawab Malik on Tuesday continued his attack on NCB Mumbai Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede, alleging he had given “safe passage” to Kashiff Khan, who was present on the Cordelia cruise ship during the agency’s raid on October 2, in spite of there being a tip-off against him.

He alleged that Wankhede knew Khan and hence, had allowed him to go. The NCP leader further alleged that Khan was allegedly linked to drug cartels in Goa. On Tuesday morning, Malik tweeted WhatsApp chats between KP Gosavi – one of NCB’s panch witnesses in the case – and an informant. In the chats, photographs of those who would be coming on the cruise and who could be of interest to the NCB, were shared. Khan’s photograph figured in the list.

Talking to The Indian Express, Malik said, “If they were detaining people based on the information provided by their informants, even Kashiff’s name and photograph were among them. Why was he not detained and later given a safe passage?”

An NCB officer said that since nothing was found on Khan, he was allowed to go.

To this, Malik said, “They had not found anything on Aryan Khan as well. Then why was he not allowed to go? Just because Kashiff is part of Wankhede’s private army?” Malik also alleged that since Khan was linked to the drug menace in Goa, no action was being taken. Khan did not respond to queries from The Indian Express.

The NCB, however, pointed out in the in the last 10 months, it has registered 12 cases in Goa and busted three cartels, including the one of dreaded drug peddler Tiger Mustafa. An officer said that in the last three years, most number of cases were lodged in Goa under Wankhede.