Mumbai: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Saturday arrested comedian Bharti Singh following the seizure of ganja (cannabis) from her house in suburban Andheri, an official said.

The NCB searched Singh's house and office in the morning as part of its probe into alleged drug use in the Hindi film industry.

A team led by Sameer Wankhede, the central agency's zonal director, carried out a search at Singh's residence at Lokhandwala Complex as well as her production house based on a tip-off, a release said.

It recovered 86.5 grams of ganja during the search, the release added.

"Both Ms Bharti Singh and her husband Harsh Limbachiya accepted consumption of ganja. Bharti Singh was placed under arrest under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and examination of Mr. Limbachiya is underway," the NCB release added.

The quantity allegedly seized from Singh's possession is considered as "small quantity" under the act, as against "commercial quantity", an NCB official said.

Up to 1,000 grams of ganja is considered a small quantity, which attracts a jail term up to six months and/or a fine of Rs 10,000. Possession of commercial quantity -- 20 kg or more -- can attract up to 20 years in jail. For the quantity in between, the punishment can be as much as 10 years in jail.

"Singh's name had cropped up during the interrogation of a drug peddler," he added.

The agency also carried out searches at two other locations in the metropolis, the official said.

Bharti Singh has appeared in many comedy and reality shows on TV. She has also hosted a few such shows.

The NCB has been probing the alleged drug use in Bollywood after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June on the basis of WhatsApp chats involving drugs.

The central agency had earlier arrested Rajput's girlfriend, actress Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showk, some employees of the late film star, and a few others under various sections of the NDPS Act.

Rhea Chakraborty and some other accused are currently out on bail.

Let the Truth be known. If you read VB and like VB, please be a VB Supporter and Help us deliver the Truth to one and all.



Bengaluru, Jun 12: Karnataka police on Saturday said they have busted a Rs 290 crore plus scam that involved duping people through a mobile app after promising attractive interest on investment and two Chinese nationals were among the nine arrested.

The scam, aided by shell companies, is linked to money laundering and the suspected kingpin is a Kerala based business man with proximity to Chinese 'hawala' operators, they said.

Cyber Crime Division of CID said it has arrested accused persons, including two Chinese nationals, two Tibetans and five others acting as directors of the companies involved, and a search is on for the rest.

A complaint from Razor pay Software Private Limited said accused persons availed 'payment solutions' from them, claiming that they are in gaming, social and e-commerce businesses.

They, however, defrauded the company by using computer resources and by deviating from their original, registered line of business, the plaint said.

They started routing their transactions to collect payments from a different business named "Powerbank", an app listed in Google Playstore, cyber police said in a release.

Through customer complaints, the complainant company got to know that public invested money in the "Powerbank" app to earn interest on the invested amount.

The accused persons, after accepting the investments, neither gave the agreed interest nor the principal amount and cheated customers.

A case was registered under the Information Technology Act and 420 IPC (Cheating), the CCD said and added that the investigating team were successful in arresting nine men.

During investigation, it was found that Anas Ahmed, a Kerala based businessman, is the main person involved.

"We have also identified that he has very proximate connections with the Chinese hawala operators, which has come to light during the course of the investigation.

He had opened shell companies in the name of Bull Finch Technologies, H & S ventures and Clifford ventures to route the fraud money. Anas Ahamed is married to Chinese national and incidentally he did his studies in China," police said in the release.

Online applications hosted by him were later camouflaged and converted into different apps including Power Bank application, seeking investment from the public and promising good returns, the CCD said.

An unusual spike was seen in investments on the day Anees Ahmed announced much higher returns.

Subsequently, such apps were removed from Google Playstore and other websites and he absconded with the money.

Investigation showed Rs 290 crore inflow into his bank accounts and the CCD was successful in freezing a significant portion of it. There was a huge spike in opening of shell companies since November 2020.

"We have also observed that the Chinese handlers are in possession of a huge number of shell companies and bank accounts. Lured by the offer of the Chinese nationals, many innocent Indians and Tibetans have fallen in their trap to open shell companies and open bank accounts for them."