Actress Charmee Kaur appears before ED in PMLA case

Tollywood actress Charmee Kaur on Thursday appeared before Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in connection with a money laundering probe linked to four-year-old drug case.

Charmee reached the ED office in Hyderabad around 10.30 a.m. As she was getting down from the car, a large number of waiting camera persons and photographers moved closer to her, leading to chaos. She requested the camera persons to give her way.

The actress’ personal security personnel intervened to make way for her to enter the ED office.

She is the second Tollywood personality to appear before ED. Earlier, director Puri Jagannadh was questioned for nearly 10 hours on Tuesday.

The ED last week issued notices to 10 persons connected to Tollywood and two others including a private club manager as part of a money laundering probe linked to the drugs racket.

Actors Rakul Preet Singh, Rana Daggubati, Ravi Teja, Charmee Kaur, Navdeep, Mumaith Khan and director Puri Jagnnadh have been asked to appear before ED between August 31 and September 22.

Tanish, Nandu, actor Ravi Teja’s driver Srinivas are also among those summoned in connection the drugs racket which was busted with the arrest of drug peddlers in 2017.

The ED also gathered details of the investigations conducted by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Telangana’s prohibition and excise department.

The drugs racket was busted on July 2, 2017 when customs officials arrested Calvin Mascarenhas, a musician, and two others and seized drugs worth Rs 30 lakh from their possession.

They had reportedly told the investigators that they are supplying drugs to film celebrities, software engineers, and even students of some corporate schools. Mobile numbers of some Tollywood celebrities were allegedly found in their contact lists.

The excise department had constituted SIT for a comprehensive probe. A total of 12 cases were registered, 30 people were arrested while 62 individuals including 11 people connected with Tollywood were examined by the SIT under section 67 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and section 161 of Criminal Procedure Code.

The SIT had collected blood, hair, nail and other samples from some of those who appeared before it for questioning and sent them for analysis.

Actors Ravi Teja, Charmme Kaur, Mumaith Khan, director Puri Jagannath and young actors Tarun Kumar and P. Navadeep were among the stars who were questioned by the SIT.

Cinematographer Shyam K. Naidu, actors Subbaraju, Tanish, Nandu and Ravi Teja’s driver Srinivas were also among those questioned.

The SIT filed charge sheet in eight out of 12 cases. It, however, gave clean chit to the film personalities who were questioned as part of the investigation.