The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mumbai rich kids in Dubai drug net

Mumbai, Oct. 27: Dubai police have arrested the scions of some well-known Mumbai families on charges of drug abuse and possession.

Abu Farhan, the son of Samajwadi Party leader and member of Parliament Abu Asim Azmi, and Bonny Chhabria, car designer Dilip Chhabria’s son, are among the four taken into custody.

Shaan Uttam Singh, said to be related to a leading Bollywood family, and Prasad Diwadkar, whose identity is not yet clear but his family, too, is believed to be linked to the movie world, are the other two.

The four were caught from Imperial Palace Hotel, allegedly owned by underworld don Iqbal Mirchi, in Dubai early last week. They have been charged with smoking cigarettes laced with drugs.

Confirming the news, a member of Azmi’s family said they had received a call from Farhan this morning. But the MP’s family added that Farhan had gone to Dubai to hire a chef for his Colaba restaurant Basilico.

“He was unfortunately caught in some very wrong company,” she said, adding that the family was “absolutely certain that Farhan had not done anything wrong”.

Azmi said he didn’t know how all this happened. “I have myself never smoked and thought that my son too wouldn’t smoke. I’ll have to see what the case is all about before reacting. It is easy to throw mud on a politician and use his son’s name to malign him.”

Farhan is still in college. He is a commerce student in Jai Hind College. The family owns another restaurant in South Mumbai, Koyla.

Chhabria was angry when asked about the incident. In the news recently for being the first ever Indian to design a car to be used in a James Bond movie, Chhabria said his son was innocent and had already been “cleared”.

“It was his bad luck that he was caught with some people taking drugs, but my son has been cleared of the charges and will be released soon,” Chhabria, who is in Dubai, said. He added that he would be back in Mumbai with his son tomorrow.

Chhabria categorically said that no drugs were found in his son’s possession and Dubai police had made no case against Bonny, who used to look after DC Designs.

A crime branch officer said it would be very tough for the four to get out of Dubai if the charges were proved against them.

“Dubai has very strict laws regarding crimes and especially drug abuse and possession,” he said.

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