A controversial "independent witness" of the narcotics agency that is investigating the Mumbai drugs-on-cruise case has been detained in Pune, three days after he claimed he would surrender at a police station in Uttar Pradesh's capital Lucknow.
Kiran Gosavi, against whom a lookout notice was issued over a cheating case in 2018, had said he wanted to surrender to the Uttar Pradesh Police as he felt "threatened" in Maharashtra. The Lucknow Police later refuted the claims of Mr Gosavi trying to surrender to them.
It fuelled questions from Maharashtra's ruling alliance about the anti-drugs agency's investigation. Several leaders questioned why an "independent witness" of the agency should be present at the raid and its office and take selfies with the high-profile accused.
On Sunday last, a man claiming to be Mr Gosavi's personal bodyguard made allegations of bribery against him.
Prabhakar Sail, who is another witness in the case, said he heard Mr Gosavi having a telephonic conversation about payoffs with one Sam D'Souza. Mr Sail claimed he heard Mr Gosavi say they should ask for a "bomb ₹ 25 crore" and then settle at ₹ 18 crore, of which ₹ 8 crore is for the NCB's zonal officer in charge of the investigation, Sameer Wankhede.
"Sail is lying. I just want to request that his CDR (call details record) should be released. My CDR report or chat should be issued, along with the CDR report of Sail and his brother, then everything will be clear. At least one minister or any leader of opposition from Maharashtra should stand with me. At least they should request the Mumbai Police to do what I am asking (to release CDR and chat of Sail," Mr Gosavi said in a video statement today.
Mr Wankhede came to Delhi on Monday. He denied he had been summoned by any agency. His visit to the national capital comes amid the row over payback allegations and his war of words with Maharashtra minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik.