Tribune Web Desk
Chandigarh, October 3
In September last year, there was inquiry of Bollywood A-listers including Deepika Padukone, Arjun Rampal, Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan in connection with their alleged involvement in procuring drugs. Before that there were headlines about drug case linked to the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Actress Rhea Chakroborty’s arrest in the case was another big breaking that rattled the Bollywood industry. There is a common link among all these reports and that is the zonal director of the Narcotics Control Bureau, Mumbai, Sameer D Wankhede.
Also read: Mumbai cruise drugs party: NCB detains actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son, seven others
As the sensational rave party bust that has the son of Bollywood mega-star Shah Rukh Khan and producer Gauri Khan – Aryan among the youngsters being probed by the Narcotics Control Bureau, let’s introduce you to Sameer Wankhede.
A 2004 batch official from the Indian Revenue Services (IRS), Wankhede was first posted at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai, as the deputy customs commissioner in 2007. A no-nonsense officer, it is said that he handled many tax-evading celebrities and made the most uncooperative stars follow rules.
From stopping his juniors to run behind actors at the airport for autographs to being stringent about checking their luggage and even stopping them at the custom area until they revealed their purchase, he made Mumbai airport more than a spot to capture celeb travel stories.
During his posting Maharashtra Service Tax department, Wankhede is known to have booked over 2,500 people, of whom 200 were celebrities, for escaping tax payments. That was a first in the state’s history! He set another record by adding revenue of Rs 87 crore in two years to the exchequer.
So far, he has been posted as Deputy Commissioner of Air Intelligence Unit (AIU), Additional SP of National Investigation Agency (NIA), Joint Commissioner of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and Zonal Director of NCB.
Son of a police officer, Wankhede has a close, rather personal, connection with cinema. He is married to Kranti Redkar, a Marathi actress, who has worked with Ajay Devgn in the film ‘Gangajal’. A Mumbaikar at heart, the top cop enjoys good cinema and cricket but he makes sure nothing comes in the way of his work.