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Sandalwood drug case: Bengaluru police arrest alleged drug supplier

A statement released by the Jt Police Commissioner Sandeep Patil said that the accused Ashwin Bhogi was detained in Chikkamagaluru.

 The Central Crime Branch (CCB) of the Bengaluru Police on Tuesday nabbed Ashwin Bhogi, allegedly involved in the high-profile Sandalwood drugs case, from Chikkamagalur. A statement released by the Joint Police Commissioner Sandeep Patil said that the accused Ashwin Bhogi was detained in Chikkamagaluru.

“He is being brought to Bengaluru for further inquiry,” Patil said and added that the accused was on the run ever since the case was registered. “After a detailed investigation, the CCB zeroed in on his hideout in Chikkamagalur and detained him since Monday evening,” the CCB claimed.

A senior police official told IANS that the accused Ashwin Bhogi was one of the key drug suppliers in this case, as his links with Nigerian drug peddlers came to light when the police had arrested a number of African drug peddlers in this case.

The case pertains to alleged drug use among influential persons including Kannada film actors Ragini Dwivedi, Sanjjanaa Galrani, party organiser Viren Khanna, realtor Rahul Tonse, among others.

Other than the probe by the CCB, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is also probing the two actors – Ragini and Sanjjanaa –  along with other co-accused on charges of money laundering.

A few key accused in the case, including Aditya Alva, the brother-in-law of Bollywood star Vivek Oberoi, are still at large. A look-out notice was issued in September for Aditya Alva. Police have also questioned actors Aindrita Ray and Diganth in connection with the case.

The CCB is investigating the drugs case after the Narcotics Control Bureau arrested three people hailing from Kerala in Bengaluru, who were allegedly supplying drugs to Kannada film actors and singers last month. The case has been followed closely by the media in Karnataka. Explosive new information’ or “mega exclusives”, often including details from the lives of the two women – Ragini and Sanjjana – have been a regular feature of news media coverage around the case.

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