In the ongoing investigations by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) after they arrested Aryan Khan and several others in a drug bust on a cruise, phone numbers of Hollywood and Bollywood have reportedly been found in the mobile phones of the accused who have been taken into their custody.
According to a report in Times Of India, the numbers belonging to prominent celebrities were in a ‘coded format in the mobile phone of one of the accused.'
Some of the chats retrieved by the NCB also reveal that several Hollywood and Bollywood actors were promised delivery of drugs in large quantities. Drug-related chats between the arrested and stars have also been unearthed.
The arrest of Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan has re-ignited debates on the nexus of Hollywood and Bollywood stars and drug trade.
A day earlier, Shah Rukh Khan’s driver was summoned in for questioning as Aryan remained in judicial custody in the Arthur Road jail.
Reports also claim that Arbaaz Merchant, one of the accused who was arrested, had also shared drugs with Aryan Khan. Aryan’s lawyers claim that he was just invited to the ship to add some razzle-dazzle to the event on the ship and did not consume or carry drugs on his person. After spending five days in NCB custody, Aryan’s bail has been repeatedly denied.
A total of 19 people have been arrested in this case so far.
Shah Rukh Khan, who has received support from colleagues such as Hrithik Roshan, Salman Khan, and Karan Johar, has also been dropped from an endorsement following the drug scandal involving his son. It's a spill-over effect that was expected after a scandal of this mammoth proportion broke.
An edtech startup Byju, currently considered the most valued business ventures in India at $18million, has put their association on hold with the famous actor. They have reportedly pulled advertisements featuring the actor after facing backlash on social media. Reports claim that the actor was paid over Rs30 million per year for this deal and has now lost out on that lucrative partnership.
Khan, who has survived in Bollywood for several decades, is known to endorse cars to fairness creams and it’s yet to be seen if other companies will follow suit and drop him to protect their brands.
On October 8, Aryan and two others were denied bail by a Mumbai court and sent to Arthur Road jail following a 14-day judicial custody order.
Meanwhile, NCB responded to accusations of bias in the drug bust and that Aryan is being targeted and penalised for being a Bollywood actor’s son and that his arrest is politically motivated.
“Narcotics Control Bureau follows a professional and unbiased approach in its ongoing mission of tackling the drug menace in the country. NCB takes actions either on the basis of inputs received from public sources or based on developed intelligence inputs incorporating various surveillance means,” said NCB in a statement.
While Aryan’s arrest gains momentum and is being closely watch, Bollywood talents have begun taking to social media to weigh in on the matter.
Music composer Vishal Dadlani is the latest celebrity to stand in solidarity with Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan as their son.
“SRK and his family are being used as a smokescreen, a soft target to distract from the 3000kg Talibani-drug haul at the Adani port, and to distract from the murder of farmers by the son of a BJP member/MLA,” said Dadlani.
Actor Shekhar Suman also threw his weight behind the troubled parents claiming that it must be incredibly difficult for Khan and his wife to see their son in trouble.