Hyderabad: Telugu actor P Navdeep appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) here on Monday as part of a money laundering probe in connection with a high-end drugs racket that was busted in the city in 2017. Navdeep, is among the 10 personalities from Tollywood, the Telugu film industry, whom the ED has summoned to appear before it in connection with the sensational racket of supplying high-end narcotics such as LSD and MDMA, that was busted by the Telangana’s Prohibition and Excise department.
Since August 31 this year, noted filmmaker Puri Jagannadh, actresses Charmee Kaur and Rakul Preet Singh, actors Nandu, Rana Daggubati and Ravi Teja have so far appeared before the central agency. The drug racket was exposed in July 2017 and several cases related to drug trafficking were registered and over 20 people were arrested including a US citizen, who was a former aerospace engineer and had worked with the NASA, a Dutch national, a South African national besides seven B.Tech degree holders employed with multi-national companies here.
The names of some Tollywood personalities came out during the interrogation of persons arrested in connection with the racket. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Telangana’s Prohibition and Excise department, as part of its investigation had also probed the alleged drug-links with Tollywood, and had then questioned 11 people connected to the Telugu film industry including actors and directors besides the driver of one of the actor and had also collected hair and nail samples. The SIT questioned them to find out if they had any links with the racket as consumers or suppliers or with those arrested.
The ED summoned the Tollywood personalities who were among those questioned by SIT and they were asked to appear before it. The racket supplied high-end drugs such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), and it is suspected that people from the film industry, employees of MNCs and college students were among their customers. Orders were placed through the ‘Darknet’ (secretive websites or online networks) and the drugs were delivered by courier including from overseas, the investigators had said.