Sameer Wankhede is an Indian Revenue Service official who works as the Narcotics Control Bureau’s zonal director (NCB). He is well-known for leading multiple narcotics raids and busts in Mumbai and the neighbouring areas.
Sameer Wankhede was born in Mumbai, Maharashtra on Friday, 14 December 1979 (age 42 as of 2021). His astrological sign is Sagittarius.
Dayandev Wankhede is Sameer’s father, and he is a former police officer. His mother’s name is Zaheda Wankhede, and he has a younger sister, Yasmeen Wankhede, who is a criminal lawyer.
Sameer married Marathi actress Kranti Redkar in a private wedding in March 2017. They have twin daughters, Zyda and Ziya.
Sameer Wankhede finished his formal schooling and received a B.A. (History Hons.). He also studied for the UPSC test. He passed the exam and joined the Indian Revenue Services in 2008. (IRS).
• Height (approx.): 5′ 10″
• Eye Colour: Black
• Hair Colour: Black
Following completion of the training, Sameer was sent to the Mumbai Airport as the Deputy Commissioner of the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU). As a member of the airport’s customs team, Sameer caught many people attempting to avoid paying taxes on products and cash imported from another nation. Sameer was infamous for not granting clearance to anyone, regardless of social standing, unless they disclosed the products and paid the tax on those commodities. Following his service with the AIU, Sameer was assigned as the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) additional SP, and he later became the Joint Commissioner of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI). He was appointed as the Narcotics Control Bureau’s zone director in 2019, and his team has seized narcotics and other substances worth Rs. 17,000 crore since then. He was the primary officer in the investigation of the suicide of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, and he was able to identify a narcotics angle in the case, in which several famous Bollywood stars were reportedly implicated. According to reports, Sameer personally questioned actress Rhea Chakraborty and her brother, Showik Chakraborty, about their role in the ‘Bollywood drugs nexus.’
AWARDS AND HONORS
Governor of Maharashtra and Goa Bhagat Singh Koshiyari presented Sameer Wankhede with the Maharashtra Sanman 2021 award.
He was also honoured with the Jamadar Bapu Lakshman Lamkhade Award for ‘Most Outstanding Contribution in Public Service.’
During the cruise drug scandal involving Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, Wankhede was accused by Maharashtra cabinet minister Nawab Malik of using a counterfeit scheduled caste certificate to pass the UPSC exams. Wankhede was subjected to a departmental vigilance investigation after an impartial witness in the cruise drug case told the agency that several detectives in the case were involved in extortion. In November 2021, a SIT seized the drug case and five other cases from the Mumbai section, and Wankheded was forced to stand down from the cruise drug case investigation.
Sameer Wankhede joined the Maharashtra Service Tax Department in 2010, and he has charged over 2,500 persons, including around 200 celebrities, with tax cheating. His team’s raids contributed to the collection and addition of Rs. 87 crore to the exchequer.
The 2011 Cricket World Cup trophy was confiscated by the customs officials at Mumbai airport in 2011 because it was composed of gold. Sameer Wankhede, who was in charge, ensured that the required tax was paid in order for the trophy to enter the nation.
Sameer held popular Punjabi pop singer Mika Singh for over four hours in 2013 as he was coming from Bangkok for carrying foreign currency. Mika was carrying $11,000 in cash and Rs. 2.75 lakh in liquor bottles worth Rs. 53,000. Any anyone travelling back to India with more than $5,000 is required by law to disclose the amount.
During his stint in the IT Department, Sameer Wankhede searched the homes of Bollywood star Vivek Oberoi, who was accused with Rs. 40 lakh in tax evasion. Similarly, Anurag Kashyap was under the IT Department’s scrutiny, and a Rs. 55 lakh tax evasion notice was issued in his name.
Following the discovery of a drug angle in the Sushant Singh Rajput suicide case, the NCB began conducting more frequent raids in the city, and in one such incident, Indian comedian Bharti Singh and her husband, Haarsh Limbachiyaa, were arrested by the NCB in November 2020 for cannabis consumption and possession. The arrest was made in accordance with the Narcotics Act.
Wankhede and his colleagues were attacked by a crowd of sixty drug peddlers on November 22, 2020. Sameer escaped the attack with minor injuries, but two of his team mates were severely hurt.
Sameer Wankhede and his colleagues caught Harris Khan, a narcotics seller operating in the Bandra area, in June 2021. According to accounts, he worked with Dawood Ibrahim’s associate Chinku Pathan. Over twenty-one criminal cases were filed against the defendants.
NCB raided a bakery in Mumbai in June 2021, discovering a batch of cannabis-based brownies and 35 grammes of marijuana. They were able to apprehend three persons using this method, including a lady and the supplier Jagat Chaurasia. Following a thorough investigation, the NCB team discovered 125 grammes of marijuana in his home.
In July 2021, after an anonymous tip, Sameer Wankhede and his team raided the house of a professional psychologist Rahmeen Charaniya, who was involved in the process of baking and selling cannabis-infused brownies. He was working with a well-known Mumbai hospital, and he used to supply these brownies after work. He would take orders through social media platforms and then personally deliver the brownies. After the raid, NCB found 10 kgs of hashish brownies, 350 gm opium, and Rs. 1.7 lakh in cash in his house.
In October 2021, the NCB apprehended Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan when a squad lead by Sameer Wankhede raided a cruise ship in Mumbai and busted a high-profile drug party. The NCB crew stormed the port party when the cruise liner was on its way from Mumbai to Goa. On the cruise ship, the crew discovered cocaine, hash, MD, and other narcotics. The NCB squad also detained two of Aryan’s buddies, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha.
Following the arrest, Sameer drew anger from SRK’s fans and other people of the business, who said that NCB was just targeting superstars and was not concerned with the wider problem. Sameer gave a statement to The Times of India and said- – We are carrying out our responsibilities. There is a rule that everyone should obey. It is the same for everyone. Everyone is equal in the eyes of the law, and we should not allow someone go free simply because they are renowned. Why should celebrities break such norms, and why should they get away with it? Does being famous give them the right to break the rules? Should we not intervene if we observe a celebrity breaking the law? Should I solely go after drug peddlers and carry out my operations and raids in slums? We’ve made over 310 arrests this year. How many of them are famous? This year, we have seized illicit drugs worth Rs 150 crores. Has anyone spoken about that?”
Sameer also discussed the whole affair, including the IPC charges on which Aryan Khan and his associates were detained. In addition, he stated, “In further development in Cr 94/21, the three accused, namely Aryan Khan, Arbaz Merchant, and Munmun Dhamecha, were arrested today on 03-10-2021 u/s 8 (c) r/w section 20 (b), 27, 28, and 29 of the NDPS Act and were produced before the honourable holiday court today after their medical.”
Despite the nasty remarks and trolling on social media, Sameer’s wife, Marathi actress Kranti Redkar, told ETimes TV in an interview: Sameer has always been a dedicated employee. His surgeries and cases were also present earlier. He is now working with Bollywood-related drug probe cases, which is why it is receiving attention. When he’s exploring or working on operations, I give him some room. He can’t sleep sometimes because he’s too busy. He works around the clock. He hardly gets 2 hours of sleep. I never meddle or get involved while he is on the phone discussing a specific case. He conducts covert operations on a daily basis and is not even permitted to discuss them with his family. Our twins clearly miss him when he is not there.They are three years old, and they clearly miss their father at home. But Sameer knows I’m at home to look after his family and children, and he doesn’t have to worry about anything. I am really proud of Sameer for sacrificing his personal life, children, and family for the sake of the nation.”