Tollywood actor Ravi Teja and his driver on Thursday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering probe linked to the 2017 drug case.
The popular actor reached the ED office here around 10 a.m. in response to the summons issued by the agency.
Ravi Teja’s driver and aide Srinivas also appeared before the ED officials. Both are likely to be questioned about their financial transactions.
Key accused Calvin Mascarenhas is also likely to be called for questioning again. His statement was recorded on Tuesday and the celebrities are being quizzed on the basis of his statement.
Ravi Teja is the sixth Tollywood personality to appear before ED. Director Puri Jagannadh and actors Charmee Kaur, Rakul Preet Singh, Nandu and Daggubati Rana were questioned since August 31.
Rana was questioned for nearly seven hours on Wednesday as part of the probe into suspected links of some celebrities with the accused involved in the case.
The ED had last month 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 case related to the smuggling of ‘Class A’ narcotic substances, including LSD and MDMA.
Actors Navdeep, Mumaith Khan and Tanish have also been summoned by the ED in connection the drugs racket which was busted with the arrest of drug peddlers in 2017.
Rana and Rakul Preet did not figure in the list of Tollywood celebrities questioned by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Telangana’s prohibition and excise department in 2017.
However, Rakul Preet was questioned by the Narcotics Control Bureau, Mumbai, last year in an alleged drugs nexus in Bollywood.
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.
An American, a South African and a Netherlands national were among those arrested.
The SIT had collected blood, hair, nail and other samples from some of those who appeared before it for question and sent them for analysis.
The SIT filed charge sheet in eight out of 12 cases. It, however, gave clean chit to the film personalities who were questioned as part of the investigation.
Bhopal man arrested for raping 13-yr-old girl
Bhopal Police on Monday arrested an accused for allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl. The matter came to light after a police complaint was registered. The accused has been arrested under sections 376 and 501 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
According to the police, the accused is known to the victim. He runs a grocery store where the victim used to visit to purchase goods.
According to the victim’s complaint lodged at Bhopal’s Sukhi Sevaniya police station, the accused invited the victim to his home on Saturday and allegedly raped her. He also threatened her of serious consequences if she told anyone about the incident.
However, after another person who knew the victim, came to know about the incident, she narrated the entire story to her parents.
Subsequently, they lodged a police compliant on Monday, a senior police official, Vijay Bahadur Singh, from Sukhi Sevaniya police station, told IANS.
“Further, investigation in the matter is underway,” he said.
Sold for child labour, UP boy rescued from Amritsar
Abducted by a truck driver and sold to a farmer for child labour in Amritsar, a 14-year-old boy finally managed to escape and was rescued by the ChildLine from the Amritsar railway station.
Satyendra, 14, was kidnapped three years ago by a truck driver who sold him to a farmer in Amritsar, police said.
Narrating his ordeal, Satyendra said, “There were around six other teenage boys from different states who were brought to the barn for labour. Our job was to feed cattle and keep the barn clean.
“We were given new identities and converted to other religions. I was called Shiva and was asked to wear a turban. They used to assault me and keep me starved if I insisted on leaving,” he told reporters after he was returned to his parents in Itaunja, on the outskirts of Lucknow on Wednesday.
Satyendra said that he was taken to Katrayaina Kala village which is on the outskirts of Amritsar city. “We were shackled before we went to sleep,” he said.
Sumit Yadav, Satyendra’s cousin who went to Amritsar to get him, said, “Itauja police did not lodge FIR even after a written complaint. For months, police kept on misleading the family and evaded questions about their son’s whereabouts. They never made an attempt to search for him.”
UP court convicts 4 for planning terror attack
A Chief Judicial Magistrate court in Lucknow has sentenced four accused to five years imprisonment after finding them guilty of planning terror activities and instigating youths to take up arms.
A fine of Rs 14,000 on each of the convicts has also been imposed by the court on Wednesday.
All the four persons were arrested by the UP ATS from different parts of the country in 2017.
Out of the four convicts, Mohd Faizan and Mohd Nazim are from Bijnor. One of the accused is from West Champaran in Bihar and the other from Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.
According to a statement released by the UP ATS, “The special judge ADJ (3) found them guilty of harming the internal and external security of the nation by fragmenting the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the country.”
According to Additional DG (law and order) Prashant Kumar, “The arrest was a major breakthrough for security agencies as the four accused were nabbed at a time when they were planning terror attacks by involving and instigating youths. They were also found with explosives and illegal weapons.”
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