ED summons Telugu film personalities in drug case

Enforcement Directorate summons Telugu film personalities in drug case

The racket was first exposed in 2017

Representative image. Credit: Istock

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned over 10 Tollywood (Telugu film industry) personalities as part of a money laundering probe in connection with a drug racket of supplying high-end narcotics in and around Hyderabad in 2017 that was busted by the Telangana's Prohibition and Excise department, official sources said. The drug racket was exposed in July 2017 and several cases related to drug trafficking were registered and over 20 people were arrested including a US citizen, who was a former aerospace engineer and had worked with the NASA, a Dutch national, a South African national besides seven B.Tech degree holders employed with multi-national companies here.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Telangana's Prohibition and Excise department, as part of its investigation had also probed the alleged drug-links with Tollywood, and had then questioned 11 people connected to the Telugu film industry including actors and directors besides the driver of one of the actor and had also collected hair and nail samples.

The SIT questioned them to find out if they had any links with the racket as consumers or suppliers or with those arrested. The ED summoned the Tollywood personalities who were among those questioned by SIT and they were asked to appear before the central agency on different dates from next week, the sources said. The SIT investigators had suspected that the gang's clientele included nearly 1,000 customers including students of city-based schools and colleges, people associated with Tollywood, senior officials of MNCs and employees of IT firms in Cyberabad

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox