Social media posts claiming Sameer Wankhede, Mumbai zonal director of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) ‘was attacked by a group of men when arresting a drug peddler’ is widely shared on Facebook. Newschecker found the incident occurred last year and is falsely being shared as recent in the context of the cruise ship case.
Wankhede is leading the probe in the cruise ship drug bust in which Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan is the prime accused. Khan was arrested in early October along with several others in connection with drugs seized on the cruise ship, Cordelia.
In the course of the investigation, several allegations against Wankhede have surfaced including extortion, bribery, forgery of personal documents for the government job. The officer has denied the allegations saying it is intended to malign his image.
In this backdrop, the viral social media post shared along with an image reading, ‘Support Sameer Wankhede Sir’ details how the officer and his team escaped an attack by a group of 60 men in Goregaon, Mumbai.
The viral message written in Hindi reads, “…A mob of 60 people made a deadly attack on the 6-member NCB team… Sameer Wankhede showed courage, patience, and intelligence…and not only saved himself and the team but also arrested the peddler…”
Using CrowdTangle -a social media monitoring platform- we found the message has been posted over 60 times on Facebook in the last three days.
The post has also been shared on Twitter and has garnered over 700 likes and over 300 retweets in the last three days.
To investigate if the viral claim holds water, Newschcker ran a keyword search for, ‘Sameer Wankhede attacked by drug peddlers in Mumbai,’ and the result led us to several news reports from November 2020.
According to an article published by India Today on November 23, 2020, Wankhede’s team was attacked when they went to arrest a drug peddler -Carry Mendes in “Goregaon, Mumbai,” as claimed in the viral post.
“More than 60 people gathered at the spot and obstructed the NCB team and then attacked them when they tried to take the peddlers in custody,” reports India Today.
We found the same incident reported by ANI also dated November 23, 2020. As per the report, three people were arrested for attacking Wankhede and team and were sent to 14-day judicial custody.
Harish Goswami, DCP, Goregaon Police Station confirmed to Newschecker that, “It is fake news. Neither NCB nor Wankhede was attacked by any drug peddlers recently.”
Further, we found a Twitter post dated November 2020 which has the exact wording as the viral message. Hence, we can confirm that an old incident that was posted on social media last year is being shared as recent.
An incident from November 2020 where the NCB officer Sameer Wankhede was attacked by drug peddlers is falsely shared as recent in the context of Aryan Khan’s arrest.
Result: Misplaced Context
Harish Goswami, DCP, Goregaon Police Station