Actress Charmi Stills

Charmme Kaur, the Indian film producer and former actor, was summoned and questioned by the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday in connection to the money laundering case linked to a four-year-old drug probe, reported Times of India.

Kaur, who has predominantly worked in Telugu cinema, appeared at the ED office at Basheerbagh along with her auditors. She was questioned for eight hours regarding the financial transactions on her accounts between 2015 and 2017. The interrogation began in the morning, she was given a break in the afternoon for lunch and the questioning continued until evening, the report added.

“Whatever documents ED asked, I submitted them,” said Kaur, after the questioning. “I am fully cooperating with them. I will continue to cooperate with the investigators and be ready to give everything that the law wants.” She added that she is not allowed to reveal any further details about the case at present.

Kaur was among several Telugu film personalities, including actors Rana DaggubatiRakul Preet SinghRavi TejaMumaith Khan, and filmmaker Puri Jagannadh, who were sent summons last week by the ED in relation to a money laundering investigation in a four-year-old drug trafficking case. The individuals have been instructed to appear for questioning on different dates.

The case dates back to July 2017, when the Telangana Excise and Prohibition Department had seized drugs worth Rs 30 lakh and registered 12 cases. Huge quantities of LSD and cocaine were seized from 13 people, and it is said that the banned substances were distributed at rave parties in Goa and Hyderabad, as well as pubs and educational institutions.

Later, the ED began looking into the money laundering angle of the drug racket.

The ED, which had issued notices to 12 people from the Telugu film industry under the Money Laundering Act, began its inquiry on Tuesday morning with Jagannadh, the Telugu film director, screenwriter and producer. The filmmaker went to the ED office in Hyderabad along with his chartered accountant and was reportedly questioned from several angles for nearly 10 hours.

According to the TOI report, Jagannadh and Kaur are both likely to be called again by the ED if any evidence is found against them.

“We will verify the financial transactions done by the 12 Tollywood celebrities summoned. If we find any evidence of money laundering, they will be named as accused. Otherwise, they will be treated as witnesses,” an ED source told TOI. 

Singh, who was originally scheduled to appear before the ED in connection to the case on Monday, will now be appearing on Friday based on her request for a change of schedule.

So far, all the celebrities who have been served notices have denied any role in the case, and the excise department has not filed any chargesheet against them due to lack of evidence.

According to NDTV, 30 people have been arrested and 62 questioned by the state’s excise department, out of which 11 are related to the film industry.