Sandalwood drug case: Cook left behind trail for cops to trace accused Aditya Alva | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Drug-peddling case accused Aditya Alva, who was on the lam for over four months, landed in police net after his cook made desperate efforts to send a message to his family in Nepal that he is fine.
Arraigned as accused number six in a drug-peddling case with alleged Sandalwood links, Alva, son of former minister Jeevaraj Alva and brother-in-law of actor Vivek Oberoi, was elusive since September second week. In the third week of December 2020, Alva approached Supreme Court, seeking quashing of the FIR registered against him. Rejecting his plea, the apex court directed Alva back to Karnataka high court.
On January 11 night, sleuths from Central Crime Branch (CCB) arrested Alva from a homestay on Chennai outskirts, putting an end to his hide-and-seek game with police. Alva had switched off his two mobile phones, making it difficult for police to trace him.
However, Alva’s run was cut short by his cook, sources from CCB police said. According to sleuths, Alva, soon after learning that his name has been listed in the accused column of the FIR registered under NDPS Act at Cottonpet police station, approached advocates for anticipatory bail. But his lawyers told him that they need at least a couple of weeks to get an anticipatory bail.
Investigating officers by then issued notice to Alva, directing him to appear before them on September 11. Suspecting that he will be arrested on his visit to CCB, Alva allegedly fled the city. Alva carried Rs 5 lakh cash with him, booked a cab to Hyderabad and took with him Mahesh Thapa, a Nepalese cook working at his Hebbal farmhouse.
First, Alva stayed at a hotel in Hyderabad and then moved to service apartments. Mahesh would cook and look after the needs of his boss, police said. Realising that carrying mobile phones could leave a trail for police to follow, Alva had directed Mahesh to leave behind his phone at the farmhouse itself.
Meanwhile, Alva moved out of his service apartment in October first week and lived in a hotel for three days in Hyderabad. From there, Alva and Mahesh travelled to different parts of Telangana, sometimes staying at hotels, homestays and service apartments.
By October-end, the two visited a homestay in south Chennai and lived there for one week. All these days, Alva used cabs to travel. The duo was caught when they returned to the same homestay.
“Alva had prohibited Mahesh from using phones or contacting his family in Nepal. Mahesh requested Alva that he will speak to some friends in Bengaluru and request them to pass a ‘all is well’ message to his family in Nepal. But Alva dissuaded Mahesh from doing so. Finally, Mahesh decided to act on his own. Taking the mobile phone from a house keeping staff at the homestay, Mahesh called his colleagues at the farmhouse, gave them the contact numbers of his family and requested them to pass on the message,” an investigating officer said.
Meanwhile, CCB police had noticed that all of Alva’s staffers at the farmhouse, including his bodyguard, were present in the city, barring Mahesh. “We knew that Mahesh was with Alva. We had anticipated either Alva or Mahesh will contact someone in the farmhouse. Our guess was right,” said CCB sleuths.

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Sagar Biswas

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