Hotelier Gaurav Arya, who has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a parallel probe into allegations of money laundering in the Sushant Singh Rajput case, on Sunday claimed he had never met the actor.
ED officials have called Arya, who runs Hotel Tamarind and Café Cotinga in Goa, for questioning on Monday.
“I have no connection with the case. I never met Sushant Singh Rajput. I met her (Rhea) in 2017,” the Goa-based hotelier was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Arya has also been linked to the drugs angle in connection with Rajput’s death at his Mumbai apartment on June 14. His name sprang up in Chakraborty’s WhatsApp conversations related to drugs. Investigators believe he used to supply drugs to Chakraborty.
He has been booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985, and is being investigated by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). The bureau had on Wednesday registered a first information report (FIR) against Chakraborty, her brother Showik, talent manager Jaya Saha, Rajput’s former manager Shruti Modi and Arya under sections 20, 22, 27 and 29 of the NDPS act.
ED officials had also visited Hotel Tamarind run by Arya at Anjuna, a coastal village in north Goa, but found the property to be shut. They stuck a notice on the door of the hotel stating that Arya must meet Rajiv Kumar, assistant director, ED, at 11am on Monday in connection with a case filed under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.
According to officials, the hotel has been shut since the lockdown restrictions were enforced in March to contain the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is probing Rajput’s death case and has so far questioned Chakraborty, Showik, Rajput’s manager Samual Miranda, domestic help Keshav, cook Neeraj Singh, flatmate and friend Siddharth Pithani and accountant Rajat Mewati.