Shah Rukh Khan with Aryan Khan
The arrest of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s 23-year-old son Aryan Khan in a case related to illegal possession of drugs on a cruise ship headed to Goa has sent shockwaves across India.
Mr Khan was accused of possessing multiple drugs, including cocaine and ecstasy after a raid was carried out on the cruise ship on Saturday.
Mr Khan, along with two others present at the party, was arrested after 20 members of the Indian federal Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) entered the venue disguised as customers. On Monday a local court sent Mr Khan to a seven-day NCB custody.
At least 13 grams of cocaine, five grams of MD (mephedrone), 21 grams of cannabis, 22 pills of ecstasy, and cash worth Rs 1,33000 (£1,316) was recovered from the eight people held by authorities, news website News18 reported. Mr Khan was among the eight.
The arrest has sent shockwaves across the Indian film industry as authorities crack down on the use of drugs by Bollywood celebrities.
In a hearing seeking Mr Khan’s custody in Mumbai, narcotics officials said the Bollywood superstar’s son is a link in an international drugs cartel which needs to be investigated further. His custody is crucial to the probe, the officials said, citing financial transactions made by Mr Khan.
The probe agency officials are likely to investigate the cruise company and the event management firm who were part of the Saturday night gala. Officials from the narcotics probe agency claimed they have found details of conversations between drug suppliers during the raid. They are also in possession of Mr Khan’s chats on WhatsApp through his phone.
Mr Khan’s attorney Satish Manshinde, who has argued in several high profile drug abuse cases in the Indian film industry, told the court that no drug was recovered from the superstar’s son who had merely gone to the cruise on invitation. Mr Khan is being made a scapegoat and his bag was searched but nothing was found, the lawyer argued in the Mumbai court.
Mr Manshinde also disputed allegations by NCB suggesting Mr Khan’s involvement in drug trade during his graduation at University of South California’s School of Cinematic Arts in 2020.
Shortly after the arrest over the weekend, several Bollywood celebrities showed support for Shah Rukh Khan and his family, alleging that the film industry is being spotlighted and targeted.
Bollywood star Salman Khan also paid the Khan family a visit shortly after the arrest.
Aryan Khan is Shah Rukh Khan’s eldest son. The star has a 21-year-old daughter, Suhana Khan, and 8-year-old son AbRam Khan.