Hyderabad: Tollywood Director Puri Jagannadh appeared before Enforcement Directorate (ED), Hyderabad, for questioning in the drug trafficking and consumption case. Puri Jagannadh was among 10 Tollywood personalities who were summoned by ED in the four-year-old drug trafficking and consumption case.
Director Puri Jagannadh is the first on the list to appear before the ED. He is likely to be followed by actor Charmee Kaur who has been summoned on September 2. Actress Rakul Preet Singh has been asked to appear on September 6, while Rana Daggubati and Ravi Teja have been asked to appear on September 8 and 9 respectively. Mumaith Khan has been asked to appear before the ED on September 15.
The case was filed by Telangana's Special Investigation Team (SIT) in 2017. The SIT had filed 11 charge sheets in 12 cases booked mostly against small-time drug peddlers. Though Telugu cinema celebrities were summoned, not a single case was registered against them due to lack of evidence.
ED is investigating the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). It is to note that ED first started a probe into the case on November 20, 2020, when it shot off a letter to the excise and prohibition department.
It is significant to note that the drug case, which had made headlines, was put into cold storage for four years. ED's summons has once again brought the focus on the case which exposed the alleged drug cartel in the Telugu Film Industry. A highly placed source told NewsMeter that investigation into the drug racket has gathered steam after the demise of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput.