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Tollywood drugs case: ED questions actor Nandu, Mascarenhas

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday questioned Tollywood actor Nandu, key accused Calvin Mascarenhas, and two others in connection with a money laundering probe linked to four-year-old drug case.

Nandu, who arrived at the ED office in the morning, was quizzed for more than eight hours. He was reportedly asked about his financial transactions and bank details.

The actor was summoned by the ED for questioning on September 20. It was not clear if the ED officials summoned him early at his request or wanted to question him before grilling others.

He is the fourth Tollywood personality questioned by the ED. Director Puri Jagannadh and actors Charmee Kaur and Rakul Preet Singh were questioned since August 31.

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 drugs racket.

Actors Rana Daggubati, Ravi Teja, Navdeep, Mumaith Khan, Tanish and Ravi Teja’s driver Srinivas have also been summoned in connection the drugs racket which was busted with the arrest of drug peddlers in 2017.

The drugs racket was busted on July 2, 2017 when customs officials arrested 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 question and sent them for analysis.

It had filed a 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.

Meanwhile, the ED also questioned Mascarenhas and two other accused Abdul Wahed and Abdul Quddus who were caught with the drugs, grilling them about their suspected financial transactions with some Tollywood personalities.

In another development, Central Crime Station (CCS) police on Tuesday filed a charge sheet in a drug case booked against Mascarenhas in 2016. A city court accepted the charge sheet and ordered him to appear on October 11.

Mascarenhas was arrested with LSD in August 2016 by Task Force police and a case was registered at Boenpalli police station in the city. The case was later transferred to the narcotics wing of CCS. The accused was later released on bail.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Actor Nandu appears before SIT in drug case

Telugu film actor Ananda Krishna alias Nandu on Tuesday appeared before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Telangana’s Excise Department, which is probing drug racket.

Nandu reached Abkari Bhavan, the office of the Prohibition and Excise Department, at 10 a.m., and the questioning started 30 minutes later.

A four-member team questioned him about allegations that he takes drugs and also has links with peddlers arrested in the case.

Nandu began his film career in 2007 with “100% love” in which he played a character caller Ajith, a role liked by the film buffs.

He also acted in Ram Gopal Varma’s movies “Ice Cream 2” and “365 days”.

Nandu is married to popular singer Geetha Madhuri.

After his named first cropped up in the case, Nandu had uploaded a video on Facebook, denying that he consumes drugs or has links with peddlers.

The SIT on Monday had questioned actor Tanish Alladi for four hours.

Nandu is the 11th artist to be interrogated by the SIT, which has so far questioned top actors like Ravi Teja, Charmme Kaur and leading director Puri Jagannadh.

Actress Mumaith Khan, actors Tarun, Navdeep and Subbaraju were also among those quizzed in the case over last two weeks.

Teja’s driver Srinivasa Rao was interrogated on Saturday, a day after the actor was questioned for over nine hours.

With the questioning of Nandu, the SIT will complete interrogation of the Tollywood personalities summoned in the case.

Their names cropped up when the SIT found their contact details in the call data of Calvin Mascrenhas, the kingpin of the recently busted drug racket.

The investigating team will likely call more Tollywood personalities for questioning.

The SIT has so far arrested 20 persons, including US citizen Dundu Anish, a former aerospace engineer who has worked with the NASA, a Dutch national Mike Kamminga, and seven B. Tech degree holders, most of them employed with multi-national companies.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Actor Tanish quizzed by SIT in drug case, Nandu to appear on Tuesday

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The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Telangana’s Excise Department, probing a Hyderabad drug racket, questioned Telugu film actor Tanish Alladi for nearly four hours on Monday while another actor Nandu will be questioned on Tuesday.

Tanish reached Abkari Bhavan, the office of the Prohibition and Excise Department, at 10 a.m and the questioning which started around 10.30 a.m. continued for almost four hours.

Four officials of the SIT questioned Tanish about the allegations that he takes drugs and also has links with the peddlers arrested in the case.

The actor told reporters after the questioning that he answered all the queries of the officials. He said whatever information he had, he shared it with the SIT.

Tanish said his family members were shocked to see his name cropping up in the case. The actor said all should work together to root out the menace of drugs. He advised to people to inform the SIT if they come to know about anybody using drugs.

After a day’s break, SIT resumed questioning Tollywood personalities in connection with the case.

SIT said two other persons, Akhil Chaudhary and Nirupama Reddy, were also questioned on Monday.

Tanish was the 10th artist to be interrogated by the SIT, which has so far questioned top actors like Ravi Teja, Charmme Kaur and leading director Puri Jagannadh.

Actress Mumaith Khan, actors Tarun, Navdeep and Subbaraju were among others quizzed in the case over last two weeks.

Teja’s driver Srinivasa Rao was interrogated on Saturday, a day after the actor was questioned for over nine hours.

Meanwhile, SIT said actor Ananda Krishna alias Nandu will appear before SIT on Tuesday.

The investigating team has summoned 12 Tollywood personalities for questioning. Their names cropped up during the investigations when SIT allegedly found their contact numbers in the call data of Calvin Mascrenhas, said to be the kingpin of the racket.

Some sections of Tollywood alleged that the industry is being unfairly targeted, but the the Telangana government denied it. It pointed out that SIT questioned several people from other walks of life.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has also assured the film industry that those using drugs would be treated as victims and not as accused but sought their help in identifying the peddlers.

The SIT has so far arrested 20 persons, including US citizen Dundu Anish, a former aerospace engineer who has worked with the NASA, a Dutch national Mike Kamminga and seven B. Tech degree holders, most of them employed with multi-national companies.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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