Bengaluru: The special NDPS court in the city on Tuesday sent Aditya Alva, one of the prime accused in the Sandalwood drugs case, to seven-day police custody. Alva was on the run after the infamous Sandalwood drugs case came to light last year with the arrest of actress Ragini Dwivedi.
With Dwivedi’s arrest on September 4, and the subsequent arrest of another actress, Sanjjanaa Galrani, on September 8, the Sandalwood drugs case caught the public imagination, and Alva was on the run since then. Alva is the brother-in-law of Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi.
He was produced before the special NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) court on Tuesday evening via video conference and was immediately sent to seven-day police custody, the police said.
The Bengaluru Central Crime Branch police had nabbed Alva, the son of late Janata Parivar leader Jeevraj Alva, from near Chennai late on Monday night.
Confirming the arrest to the media, Bengaluru Joint Police commissioner (Crime) Sandeep Patil had stated that Alva, who was absconding for over four months, was arrested on Monday night.
“We were involved in a continuous operation to arrest him. We received a tip-off that he was in Chennai after which a team arrested him,” he said.
Alva is the accused number six in the Sandalwood drugs. His mother Nandini Alva is also a famous personality in Bengaluru.
According to the CCB sources, Alva was arrested from a resort located between Chennai and Mahabalipuram. The sources said that the investigators were tracking the mobile phone locations of people close to Alva. Sources claimed that CCB inspector Puneet received information about his whereabouts after which an operation to arrest him was planned and carried out.
Alva is currently being questioned at the CCB office in Chamarajpet in Bengaluru. He has been accused of hosting parties and allowing high-profile parties to be organised in his farmhouse in Hebbal, Bengaluru, and the police suspect that banned narcotic drugs were supplied and consumed at such parties.
CCB sources had earlier revealed that Alva and party organiser Viren Khanna used to host parties together. In September last year, the CCB had conducted a search operation at his resort – House of Life – and his residence and seized several documents.
On October 15 last year, a CCB team had raided the premises of his sister Priyanka Alva, who is the wife of Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi, in Mumbai. Subsequently, the police summoned her to appear before them in Bengaluru in connection with the case. But Priyanka failed to acknowledge the summons and did not appear before the CCB.
The CCB had also interrogated Ricky Rai, the son of former underworld don-turned-social activist Muthappa Rai, a day after his house was raided in Hebbal.
The CCB had conducted raids at Rai’s farmhouse in Bidadi in Ramanagara district and his house in Sadashivanagar in Bengaluru. The police suspected that Rai had given asylum to Alva. The CCB had said that Rai knew Alva from their school days and that they were good friends.
Alva is among the 17 people who have been booked in connection with the Sandalwood drugs case. Three weeks ago, the Supreme Court had denied Alva’s plea to quash the FIR registered against him at the Cottonpet police station. The apex court had also denied Alva’s plea to procure anticipatory bail. His legal counsel Nishanth Patil had earlier filed an anticipatory bail plea in the Karnataka High Court, which was also denied.
The Kannada film industry has been under the scanner of the police for drugs-related offences after the police and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) busted an international drug trafficking racket in multi-city raids in August 2020.
The CCB has now nabbed Alva and Kannada film producer Shivaprakash Chippi in a gap of just two days while they are yet to nab Sheik Faazil, another prime accused in this case, who is also said to be on the run. He is suspected to be an hawala operator, who was funnelling funds to a well-oiled drug supply chains in high-profile events.