Actor Tanish on Friday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in connection with a money laundering probe related to a four-year-old drug case.
The actor reached the ED office around 10 am in response to the summons issued by the agency.
ED officials may question him whether he knew Calvin Mascarenhas, a musician and prime accused in the case, and whether he had attended parties organized at the ‘F’ club, which was once owned by actor Navdeep. The actor may also be questioned about his financial transactions.
Tanish is the ninth person from the Telugu film industry to appear before the ED, as he began questioning on August 31 in a money laundering probe in connection with a high-end drugs racket busted by Telangana’s Prohibition and Excise Department.
So far the central agency has questioned director Puri Jagannath and actors Charmi Kaur, Rakul Preet Singh, Nandu, Daggubati Rana, Ravi Teja, Navdeep, Mumaith Khan. It also questioned Ravi Teja’s driver and associate Srinivas and former general manager of ‘F’ club.
The interrogation is believed to have centered around his suspicious financial dealings with those involved in the drug case.
The ED had last month issued notices to around a dozen people linked to Tollywood as part of a money laundering probe in a case related to ‘Class A’ drug smuggling, including LSD and MDMA.
ED officials have been summoning Calvin Mascarenhas and other accused for interrogation parallel to the interrogation of Tollywood celebrities.
The drugs racket was busted on July 2, 2017, when customs officials arrested a musician Calvin Mascarenhas and two others and seized drugs worth Rs 30 lakh from their possession.
They had reportedly told investigators that they were supplying drugs to film personalities, software engineers and even students of some corporate schools. Mobile numbers of some Tollywood celebrities were reportedly found in their contact list.
The Excise Department had constituted an SIT for a comprehensive investigation. A total of 12 cases were registered, 30 people were arrested, while 62 persons, including 11 linked to Tollywood, were investigated by the SIT under Section 67 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Those arrested include an American, a South African and a Netherlands national.
The SIT had collected blood, hair, nails and other samples from some people who had come before it for questioning and sent them for analysis.
The SIT filed charge sheets in eight of the 12 cases. However, it gave a clean chit to the film personalities who were questioned as part of the investigation.