Entertainment

UAE jails Mumbai actress in ‘planted’ drugs case, kin to appeal to PM, MEA

Chrisann Pereira's distraught family here said that Chrisann, 27 - in jail since April 1 - is innocent and sought her early release from the UAE prison after her bail plea was rejected on Monday (April 24) there.

Mumbai: In an unnerving development, a Mumbai actress has been jailed in the UAE’s Sharjah after she was found carrying drugs hidden in an award trophy even as the Mumbai Police nabbed a person who had trapped her and two others into becoming “drug mules”.

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Chrisann Pereira’s distraught family here said that Chrisann, 27 – in jail since April 1 – is innocent and sought her early release from the UAE prison after her bail plea was rejected on Monday (April 24) there.

“We are appealing to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister for External Affairs for their intervention in the matter to secure the release of our daughter… After the Mumbai Police investigation, it is clear that she was framed in the whole thing,” her mother Premila Pereira told IANS.

The Mumbai Police Crime Branch, which is probing the case, have nabbed the prime accused Anthony Paul, 35, a bakery owner of Borivali and his associate, a banker Rajesh Bubhate, 34, alias Ravi.

They have confessed to handing three persons the award trophies with drugs concealed in them and two others with drugs-laced cakes before they flew to Dubai, ostensibly as vendetta against the Pereira family.

While two, including Chrisann, unwittingly walked into the trap, three others managed to evade the authorities in Sharjah.

The accused, identifying himself as a talent consultant, had approached Premila Pereira in March-end, to lure Chrisann with an audition for a role in an international webseries in Sharjah.

He also persuaded Chrisann to carry the trophy in which he had hidden the drugs to be handed over to an associate in Sharjah who would give details of her hotel booking.

After reaching Sharjah, Chrisann found that nobody came to receive her at the airport, but the local police landed, detected the drugs in the trophy and hauled her to the lockup, and later the Sharjah Central Prison from April 1.

Paul, said to be the brain behind the revenge con, apparently nursed an old grudge against the Pereira family, especially Premila (the mother), and even got into fisticuffs with her son Kevin.

Police have found that the accused Paul had used the same modus operandi with some other wannabe actors, assuring them of plum roles in global webseries, though one person declined to carry the trophy, which Chrisann later agreed to take with her.

The Mumbai Police does not suspect a drug syndicate involvement but only Paul’s “revenge tactics” against all the victims with whom he had some or other problems, but they are investigating from various angles.

An upcoming actress, Chrisann has played roles in films like “Sadak 2”, “Batla House”, webseries “Thinkistan”, several stage plays, and lives in Borivali suburb with her family.

Premila Pereira said that they are completing the legal formalities to approach the Sharjah authorities and will also send an appeal to the PM and MEA for help to secure the release of their innocent daughter.

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