Drugs case: More skeletons tumbling out of Tollywood closet

'Basti' director Mantena Vasu Varma was arrested on 5 September for substance abuse. The news, revealed by cops on 24 September, caused a flutter in Tollywood circles.

BySouth First Desk

Published Sep 25, 2023 | 1:43 PMUpdatedSep 25, 2023 | 1:59 PM

Mantena Vasu drugs case

With each passing day, more skeletons are tumbling out of the closet in the Madhapur drugs case in Hyderabad. The Telangana State Anti-Narcotics Bureau and the Hyderabad police are digging deep to unearth more startling facts.

The case took prominence after a series of developments and drug busts in Hyderabad. Drug peddlers and accused are being grilled as officials suspect a possibility of more film personalities getting involved in the case.

On Sunday, 24 September, the news that Tollywood director Mantena Vasu Varma — who helmed a Telugu film titled Basti in 2015 — was arrested recently by the Anti-Narcotics Bureau caused a flutter in Tollywood circles.

Mantena Vasu, also the chairman of MNR Knowledge Trust, was arrested on 5 September for substance abuse. The police said the arrest was not revealed since it was a low-profile case.

According to the police, the film director has been addicted to drugs since 2018. He has been procuring the drugs from a peddler named Victor, a mutual friend of Manthena Vasu and a scriptwriter named Manneri Prudhvi Krishna.

Mantena Vasu has been sent to judicial remand. The cops launched a manhunt for Victor.

The police also revealed that Mantena Vasu’s name came out while questioning Krishna and event organiser Rahul Ashok Telore. The cops seized 70 grams of cocaine, marijuana, and foreign liquor from the two.

Related: Madhapur drugs case: Hyderabad narcotics cops summon Tollywood actor Navdeep after raid on his house

It may be recalled that the Anti-Narcotics Bureau arrested three Nigerian drug peddlers, a former MP’s son, and a poker organiser. It also questioned film producer Ravi Uppalapati in connection with the drugs case.

Meanwhile, Tollywood actor Navdeep, who first blatantly put out social media posts when his name emerged in the mainstream media, was grilled for five hours by the cops.

The police reportedly extracted information from the actor about his family, his friends, and the business that he is currently holding. It is learned that Navdeep tampered with his phone and tried to delete relevant data.