Sameer Wankhede, a 2008 batch IRS officer, has acted against several Bollywood celebrities while handling customs, service tax and narcotics operations in different capacities.
Here is a list of 13 high-profile cases in which Sameer Wankhede took legal action against Bollywood celebrities over the years.
In a recent interview, he said, “I am not against Bollywood but I am against those who break the law.”
1) SHAH RUKH KHAN: In July 2011, Shah Rukh Khan was stopped and interrogated by a team of airport customs department headed by Sameer Wankhede. Shah Rukh Khan was fined Rs 1.5 lakh for carrying excess luggage. The actor had arrived at Mumbai airport after a family vacation in Holland and London.
File photo of Sameer Wankhede | PTI
2) MINISSHA LAMBA: Actress Minissha Lamba was detained at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in May 2011 after arriving through an Emirates flight from Cannes. She was intercepted by a team of then assistant commissioner (customs) Sameer Wankhede. She had undeclared assorted diamond jewellery and other precious stones worth Rs 50 lakh. She was allowed to leave after 16 hours of investigation.
3) ANUSHKA SHARMA: In June 2011, a team of assistant commissioner (customs) Sameer Wankhede intercepted Anushka Sharma at Mumbai airport and found a diamond bracelet, necklaces, earrings and two expensive watches worth Rs 35 lakh undeclared. She was allowed to leave the airport after 11 hours.
4) KATRINA KAIF: Katrina Kaif faced trouble in September 2012 at Mumbai airport when she arrived on a Cathay Pacific flight and exited the terminal without claiming any luggage. When her two assistants, P Chaddha and Arun Sharma, went again inside the terminal to collect the luggage, they were detained by Sameer Wankhede’s team. The officials found an Apple iPad, Rs 30,000 undeclared cash and two bottles of whisky. The two were then questioned by then deputy commissioner (customs) Sameer Wankhede, and a fine of Rs 12,000 was slapped under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act.
File photo of Katrina Kaif | PTI
5) RANBIR KAPOOR: In May 2013, Ranbir Kapoor was detained and fined Rs 60,000 after landing at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on a British Airways flight from London. He was detained by Sameer Wankhede’s team while using a passage meant strictly for officials and airport staff. When Kapoor’s luggage was checked, undeclared expensive perfumes, clothes and footwear worth about Rs 1 lakh was found and a fine was imposed by Wankhede. He was detained for almost 40 minutes.
6) MIKA SINGH: In February 2013, singer Mika Singh was detained when he tried to move out of Mumbai international airport without declaring over Rs 9 lakh after he arrived from Bangkok. Singh was detained by the customs’ Air Intelligence Unit headed by Sameer Wankhede. Two liquor bottles, sunglasses and perfumes were found in Mika’s bag.
7) BIPASHA BASU: Actress Bipasha Basu was stopped at Mumbai International Airport after arriving from London in 2011 by Sameer Wankhede’s team and slapped with a fine of Rs 12,000 for not declaring imported valuables worth Rs 60 lakh. She had allegedly not declared footwear, designer sunglasses and handbags.
8) ANURAG KASHYAP: In August 2013, when Sameer Wankhede worked with the Service Tax Department as Deputy Commissioner, a fine of Rs 55 lakh was imposed on Anurag Kashyap for service tax evasion. His accounts were also sealed in December for not obeying the summons issued by the department.
File photo of Anurag Kashyap | PTI
9) VIVEK OBEROI: In September 2013, actor Vivek Oberoi was summoned by the Service Tax Department, where Wankhede was posted as Deputy Commissioner, for allegedly evading service tax of Rs 40 lakh, which he had collected from producers.
10) RHEA CHAKRABORTY: Actor Rhea Chakraborty was arrested on September 8, 2020, when Sameer Wankhede was heading the Mumbai office of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) as Zonal Director. She was arrested based on her alleged WhatsApp chats and charges of consuming drugs.
Rhea Chakraborty outside NCB office in Mumbai on Jan 4, 2021 | PTI
11) DEEPIKA PADUKONE, SHRADDHA KAPOOR, SARA ALI KHAN: The three actors were summoned and questioned in September 2020 based on WhatsApp chats which the NCB unearthed during its investigation of the Rhea Chakraborty drugs case.
Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan at the NCB office in Mumbai | PTI
12 ) ARMAAN KOHLI: Actor Armaan Kohli was arrested by the NCB in August 2021 on charges of drug consumption. The arrest and raids were carried out under NCB’s Mumbai chief Sameer Wankhede’s supervision.
Armaan Kohli at NCB office, in Mumbai on Sept 1, 2021 | PTI
13) ARYAN KHAN: Actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan was detained on October 2 and arrested the next day after a team lead by NCB’s Sameer Wankhede busted a drug party that was allegedly planned on a Mumbai cruise. Actor Ananya Panday was also summoned and questioned by the NCB recently in this case.