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Took drugs to overcome depression: Cruise case accused to NCB

Mumbai: Some of the persons accused in the drugs-on-cruise case have told the Narcotics Control Bureau that they started consuming drugs to overcome depression as well as academic and work pressure, as per a charge-sheet filed by the NCB.

The NCB on Friday filed a nearly 6,000-page charge sheet in a Mumbai court against 14 out of 20 people, who were arrested in the case last October following a raid on a cruise ship and alleged seizure of drugs.

Six of them, including Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan, were not named due to lack of evidence, the central agency said.

Arbaaz Merchant (26), a co-accused in the case and a friend of Aryan Khan, said after consuming alcohol, sometimes his head gets really heavy and smoking hash calms him, that's why he had concealed hash in his shoes (on the cruise ship), the charge-sheet stated.

Another accused Aachit Kumar (22) attributed his drug consumption to academic pressure, according to the charge-sheet.

"Kumar admitted that to overcome the pressure of his studies, he was consuming imported marijuana buds," it said.

He further stated that his studies have, however, been affected badly due to the marijuana consumption.

Kumar also said he is aware of the fact that imported marijuana bud is a narcotic drug and its sale, consumption and purchase are illegal, it added.

Another accused, fashion model Munmun Dhamecha (29), in her statement to the NCB said she "smokes charas" to overcome depression due to family issues.

Shreyas Nair (23), another accused in the case, admitted that he started consuming drugs since 2017, when he was doing a hotel management course. He admitted that he used to consume weed daily, and hash occasionally, the NCB said.

The NCB filed the charge-sheet against 14 people. All the accused, except Abdul Shaikh and Nigerian national Chinendu Igwe, are currently out on bail.

Shaikh (30) told the NCB that he entered the business of sale and purchase of 'Ecstasy' pills and 'MD' for personal consumption, and to help friends "make easy money" for personal and financial needs, the charge-sheet said.

Igwe (27), in his statement before the NCB, said he got involved in the drug business due to financial crisis, the NCB added.

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