1 more drug peddler held in B'luru; Sandalwood links probed

Bengaluru, Sep 4 (IANS) The Karnataka Central Crime Branch (CCB) has arrested one more person for allegedly supplying narcotic drugs to Kannada film actors at rave parties, a top police official said on Friday.

“We have arrested Rahul Shetty, a real estate agent, for peddling drugs to Kannada film actors and musicians at rave parties in the city on leads we got while investigating the drug links in the Sandalwood industry,” Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant told reporters here.

Shetty is the second peddler to be held after another accused Ravi Shankar was arrested on Thursday for allegedly supplying drugs to Sandalwood (Kannada film industry) actors at rave or late night parties in the city.

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Shetty is alleged to be a close friend of Kannada film actress Sanjana Galrani while Shankar is said to be close to another actress, Ragini Dwivedi, whose flat was raided by a seven-member CCB team earlier in the day in the city’s northern suburb. She was questioned at the CCB office later to ascertain her links to banned drugs like marijuana, cocaine and hashish.

“Investigation into the drug links of the Sandalwood has been going on for over a month now. Seizure of drugs in another case led us to Shankar, who is an official in the state road transport office (RTO) in the city’s upscale Jayanagar suburb,” Pant said.

CCB sleuths got more leads from Shankar’s mobile phone and statements he made since his arrest and after he was remanded to five-day police custody for interrogation.

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“Shankar explained in detail to our team about his activities. He revealed many other connections. Based on his revelations, we have initiated a second layer of investigation into the drug links of the Kannada film industry,” Pant said.

The CCB sleuths are also questioning a few others who are suspected to be involved in supplying narcotics to Sandalwood people and other addicts.

“Preliminary investigations revealed that many among the high and rich are involved in drug peddling and consuming. Shankar and Shetty also supplied drugs to a foreign national on whom we have zeroed in,” added Pant.

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–IANS

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