Arjun Rampal quizzed for 7 hours over possession of banned drugs

Meanwhile, the agency arrested an engineer, an Australian national, who is a friend of Agisilaos Demetriades, the brother of Rampal’s live-in partner Gabriella.

Actor Arjun Rampal was questioned by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) for over seven hours on Friday in connection with the seizure of banned painkillers from his home in Bandra West. The NCB had summoned the 47-year-old actor to explain why he was in possession of opioid drug Tramadol. Rampal left the NCB office in Ballard Pier a few minutes past 6 pm.

Emerging from the questioning, Rampal told mediapersons that he had given the agency a prescription. Possession of Tramadol, a powerful painkiller, is banned in India without a prescription. An NCB official said that the agency was verifying the veracity of the prescription.

Meanwhile, the agency arrested an engineer, an Australian national, who is a friend of Agisilaos Demetriades, the brother of Rampal’s live-in partner Gabriella.

Paul Bartels is currently employed as an engineering manager with a major international construction contractor. According to NCB, Bartels is alleged to be a part of the conspiracy to procure drugs along with Agisilaos, who was arrested by the NCB in October for possession of drugs. Last week, as Agisilaos was granted bail in the case, the NCB took him back into its custody after his name cropped up in the alleged import of cocaine into India via couriers.

“Bartels has been working in Mumbai for the last few years and is a friend of Agisilaos. He knows Rampal through Agisilaos. We are investigating Bartels’ links with Agisilaos in procuring drugs,” said the officer.

Bartels was summoned by the NCB on Thursday and placed under arrest. He was produced in court on Friday and remanded to judicial custody. Before issuing a summons to Rampal, the NCB had questioned Gabriella for over six hours each on Wednesday and Thursday, following the search at their home on Tuesday. The search was prompted by the arrest last week of four drug peddlers and suppliers serving clients working in the film and television industries.

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