On Saturday, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) raided a cruise going from Mumbai to Goa and recovered a considerable quantity of drugs. In this case, NCB is continuously interrogating eight people, including Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan. There is one more name amid this whole matter in the discussion, and that is that of Sameer Wankhede.
NCB Mumbai zonal director Sameer Wankhede had arrived on the cruise as a passenger based on the tip. Many other NCB officials were present with him. As soon as the party started on the cruise, the NCB team raided and took eight people into custody from there. During the investigation, NCB has also recovered drugs.
Last year, when the drugs angle came to the fore in Bollywood after the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, even then, the name of Sameer Wankhede came into the limelight. Sameer Wankhede is called ‘Singham’, and it is believed that Bollywood celebrities are also scared of his name.
Who is Sameer Wankhede?
Sameer Wankhede, who hails from Maharashtra, is a 2008 batch IRS officer. After joining the Indian Revenue Service, his first posting was as Deputy Customs Commissioner at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. Due to his ability, he was later sent to Andhra Pradesh and then to Delhi. He is considered an expert in drug and drug-related matters.
In the last two years, under the leadership of Sameer Wankhede, a drug and drugs racket worth about Rs 17,000 crore was exposed. Last year itself, Sameer Wankhede was transferred from DRI to Narcotics Control Bureau.
Sameer Wankhede has been colliding with celebrities
Sameer Wankhede is very honest towards his duty, and when it comes to duty, he does not care who is in front. When Wankhede was posted as deputy commissioner at the Mumbai airport, he stopped his juniors from running after celebrities. He did not allow Bollywood stars to be paid without tax.
Any traveller can bring goods worth up to 35 thousand rupees from abroad, but 36% customs tax has to be paid in case of goods worth more. If the value of the goods exceeds Rs 5 lakh, the customs officer can arrest him.
It is said that Wankhede was also troubled by the tantrums of Bollywood actresses. The law also states that every passenger will have to pick up their luggage while passing through custom duty, but their assistants use Bollywood stars to get the luggage picked up. According to Wankhede, he used to do this so that he would not bring more goods from abroad because the officers could not stop his assistant.
After this, he decided that every passenger would pick up his luggage. Wankhede had told in an interview given to Aaj Tak, ‘Celebrities used to create atmosphere. He used to threaten me that he would complain to my seniors. But when I used to tell them that I am the senior-most here, they had no choice but to stand in line.
Once Wankhede, the actor son of a veteran cricketer and another cricketer’s wife, had a heated argument. When he argued with Wankhede, he said that he could also arrest him for tax evasion. After this, the matter was settled, and he paid the fine.
When the cricketer’s talk was also unheard
One such anecdote is during the 2011 World Cup. At that time, a famous cricketer asked Wankhede to let his friend bring 18 bottles of liquor from the airport. His friend from South Africa called his cricketer friend and gave it to Wankhede. Wankhede listened to him carefully but imposed customs duty on 16 bottles. Because according to the rules only two bottles can be brought.
Wankhede considers only two celebrities. The first is Ajay Devgan because he never refused to pay tax, and the second is Marathi actor Kranti Redkar, his wife. Sameer Wankhede and Kranti got married in 2017.