The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has reportedly recovered five grams of cocaine from Anand Vardhan, 31, a top executive of the Yash Birla Group, who was detained on Friday. NCB officials are also interrogating two others, but no arrests have been made so far.
Income tax officials had stumbled upon the cocaine on Friday night when they raided Vardhan’s hotel room in Taj Mahal Palace, Colaba. The I-T department has been searching about 20 premises of the Yash Birla group in Mumbai and New Delhi for alleged tax evasion during the last couple of days.
Rohit Kathiyar, zonal director, NCB, told dna, “On Friday night, Vardhan was handed over to NCB by the I-T department for further questioning. Apart from Vardhan, his servant and bodyguard, who were with him, are being questioned. We have not made any arrests yet.”
He said five grams of cocaine in several small packets were recovered and investigations are on to find out how it was procured.
“We will search the room again. We are also in touch with the I-T department to ascertain the circumstances under which the drug was discovered. The cocaine samples will be sent to the forensic lab,” added Kathiyar.
Another senior NCB officer said arrests will be made only after it is confirmed that the drugs were procured or consumed and not planted by somebody else.
According to city lawyer Ayaz Khan, the arrest and sentencing depends on whether the parties will be prosecuted for possession, consumption or distribution.
“If the quantity of cocaine is 5 grams, the maximum sentence can be 10. If it is more than 99 grams, the maximum sentence can be 20 years.”
Since the establishment is being raided over several days, there is a possibility that the drug was planted in his room, he said.