Bengaluru drug racket: actor Ragini Dwivedi, 11 others booked under NDPS Act

Bengaluru drug racket: actress Ragini Dwivedi, 11 others booked under NDPS Act
Kannada actress Ragini Dwivedi at the Central Crime Branch office for question in connection with the sandalwood drug scandal, in Bengaluru, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. PTI

Bengaluru: The Bengaluru police have registered a case of drug abuse against 12 people, including Kannada film actress Ragini Dwivedi, stating that they were supplying drugs to various people at parties through drug peddlers.

So far 13 people have been booked in two separate cases and six among them have been arrested, the police said.

The case registered by the police department on its own under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act has been taken up on a complaint by the Assistant Commissioner of Police of the Central Crime Branch of Bengaluru K C Gautham against "who's who of Bengaluru high end party circle," top police sources said.

Those booked under the NDPS Act are Shivaprakash, Ragini Dwivedi, Veeren Khanna, Prashant Ranka, Vaibhav Jain, Aditya Alva, Loom Pepper Samba, Prashanth Raju, Ashwin, Abhiswamy, Rahul Thonshe and Vijay, they said.

Loom Pepper is from Decar City in Senegal, police said, adding the rest are from Bengaluru.

Besides these 12 people, a separate case has been registered against B K Ravishankar, a clerk in the Road Transport Office who was a close acquaintance of Ragini Dwivedi, the police said.

He was the first catch in the case and is in custody in another case, the police added.

ACP Gautham stated in his complaint that Ravishankar revealed the names of these 12 people during interrogation.

"All these persons from accused number-1 to accused number-12 people including Dwivedi used to connive together to hold (Rave) parties at different parts of Bengaluru and call many clients.

They used to obtain drugs from the drug peddlers to supply them to businessmen, celebrities, some film actors and actresses, disk jockeys, software engineers and others and make money through illegal means and indulged in unlawful activities," the ACP said in his complaint.

According to police, the six people arrested include Dwivedi, Ravishankar, Rahul, Veeren Khanna and Loom Pepper.

While Ragini Dwivedi was arrested last evening, her friend Ravishankar, a clerk at RTO in Jayanagar and Rahul Shetty, a real estate businessman, were arrested on Thursday.

Officials had also arrested high-end party planner Veeren Khanna in connection with the case in New Delhi on Friday.

"Loum Pepper Samba from Africa, who was the drug peddler, supplying drugs to Ravi and other celebrities, has been arrested by the Central Crime Branch," CCB officials said.

The CCB intensified its investigation into a drugs haul in Bengaluru after the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) arrested three persons from the city, who were allegedly supplying drugs to singers and actors in the Kannada film industry, also known as "Sandalwood".

Filmmaker and journalist Indrajit Lankesh had given his statement to the CCB about drug abuse in Sandalwood.

He had also claimed that at least 15 people in the industry were involved in the drugs trade.

The police had raided Ragini Dwivedi's residence on Friday morning and later in the evening after questioning, arrested her.

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