Tollywood drugs case: Rakul Preet appears before ED
Hyderabad: Actor Rakul Preet Singh on Friday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in connection with a money-laundering probe linked to a four-year-old drug case.
She reached the ED office here around 9.10 a.m., an hour before the scheduled time.
The ED has summoned Rakul for questioning on September 6 but she had sought more time citing her busy shooting schedule. However, the agency declined to postpone the questioning and asked her to appear three days before the scheduled time.
She is the third Tollywood personality being questioned by the ED. Director Puri Jagannadh was questioned for nearly 10 hours on Tuesday while actor Charmme Kaur was quizzed for about eight hours on Thursday.
The ED officials are questioning the film personalities about the financial transactions, if any, with those involved in the drugs case.
Both Puri and Charmme were reportedly questioned about the suspected links with Calvin Mascarenhas, a key accused in the case.
The ED last week issued notices to 10 persons connected to Tollywood and two others including a private club manager as part of a money-laundering probe linked to the drugs racket.
Actors Rakul Preet Singh, Rana Daggubati, Ravi Teja, Charmme Kaur, Navdeep, Mumaith Khan and director Puri Jagannath have been asked to appear before ED between August 31 and September 22.
Tanish, Nandu, actor Ravi Teja’s driver Srinivas are also among those summoned in connection with the drugs racket which was busted with the arrest of drug peddlers in 2017.
Rakul Preet Singh and Rana were not among Tollywood personalities questioned by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Telangana’s prohibition and excise department, which probed the case.
The drugs racket was busted on July 2, 2017, when customs officials arrested Calvin Mascarenhas, a musician, and two others and seized drugs worth Rs 30 lakh from their possession.
They had reportedly told the investigators that they are supplying drugs to film celebrities, software engineers, and even students of some corporate schools. Mobile numbers of some Tollywood celebrities were allegedly found in their contact lists.
The excise department had constituted SIT for a comprehensive probe. A total of 12 cases were registered, 30 people were arrested while 62 individuals including 11 people connected with Tollywood were examined by the SIT under section 67 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and section 161 of Criminal Procedure Code.
The SIT had collected blood, hair, nail and other samples from some of those who appeared before it for questioning and sent them for analysis.
Actors Ravi Teja, Charmme Kaur, Mumaith Khan, director Puri Jagannath and young actors Tarun Kumar and P. Navadeep were among the stars who were questioned by the SIT.
Cinematographer Shyam K. Naidu, actors Subbaraju, Tanish, Nandu and Ravi Teja’s driver Srinivas were also among those questioned.
The SIT filed charge sheet in eight out of 12 cases. It, however, gave a clean chit to the film personalities who were questioned as part of the investigation.