Actors Rana Daggubati and Rakul Preet Singh were among several Telugu film personalities who were summoned by the Enforcement Directorate in relation to money laundering in a four-year old drug trafficking case, The Times of India reported.
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 an investigation into the money laundering angle of the drug racket. And it is for this matter that the current summons have been sent out.
The agency has ordered the celebrities to appear before them on specific dates. While Singh has been asked to appear on September 6, Daggubati and Ravi Teja have been summoned to appear on September 8 and 9, respectively. Mumaith Khan has been asked to appear on November 15.
Speaking to TOI, an ED official said, “Around 12 cases were booked by Telangana Excise and Prohibition department and 11 charge sheets were filled. Mostly drug traffickers, around eight persons were chargesheeted in the cases then. Most of them are lower-level drug traffickers. We have called excise officials as witnesses. Likewise, till we get evidence, Tollywood celebrities will be considered as witnesses. Their names have figured in the investigation.”
The celebrities have all denied any role in the case, and the Special Investigation Team of the excise department did not file any chargesheet against the actors 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.