DELHI – Chrisann Pereira, the Bollywood actor who was unjustly incarcerated in Sharjah Central Jail since April 1, has finally been released. Her brother, Kevin Pereira, broke the news through an Instagram post. He also shared an emotional recording of Chrisann’s first video call home after her release, sharing a glimpse of the joyous reunion.
The 27-year-old actor was framed by two individuals who planted drugs in an award trophy and asked her to carry it to Sharjah minutes before the flight took off from Mumbai. The Indian actress was sent there under the pretext of an audition for a “Hollywood” web series being shot in Dubai.
The authorities caught Pereira upon landing. They discovered cannabis and opium in the trophy, which led to her arrest.
A month later, she is finally out on bail bringing to light the story of Anthony Paul, the owner of a Borivali-based bakery, who had framed the actor in the narcotics case.
How Was The Actor Framed?
Speaking to BOOM, Krishnakanth Upadhyay, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, confirmed the arrest of Anthony Paul and Rajesh Borate, the masterminds in the case.
Paul trapped the actor with the help of his friend Rajesh Borate, who posed as talent manager 'Ravi' and offered her an audition for an international web series. He booked air tickets and hotel accommodations to make it look professional. On the day of her departure, she was handed a trophy, with drugs hidden inside it.
She was later arrested.
Upadhyay said that right after the news of her arrest, the family approached them and told him the details of her visit to the UAE.
“Based on the details, we started investigating the case and found Paul and Borate were the masterminds behind her arrest. We shared our investigation report about her background with her lawyer and the concerned overseas authorities,” Upadhyay told BOOM.
The senior officer said that they investigated how the duo duped the actor. Following the police report, her lawyer approached the court for her bail, which was granted by the authorities.
Pereira was not the only victim. In a similar fashion, Paul had duped four other people. One of them, Clayton Rodrigues is still being held in Sharjah Prison, the police said.
“The three others were lucky and returned immediately, but one person (Rodrigues) is still under arrest by the Sharjah authorities for the last two months. We are trying our best to assist him legally and get him out as soon as possible,” the officer told BOOM.
'Made Coffee Using Toilet Water'
In a heart-wrenching letter, the actor shared her traumatic experiences during her 26-day incarceration. She revealed that she had to "wash her hair with Tide laundry detergent powder" and make coffee using toilet water.
“Dear Warriors, It took me three weeks and five days to find pen and paper in jail. After I washed my hair with Tide and made coffee using toilet water, I watched Bollywood movies, sometimes with tears in my eyes, knowing my ambition brought me here. I sometimes smile at our culture, movies, and the familiar faces on TV. I feel proud to be an Indian and belong to the Indian film industry,” the letter read.
The actor thanked her family, friends, police, churches, media, and those who believed in her innocence for giving her hope. “You are the real warriors while I am just a pawn in this dirty game played by these ‘Mansters’. I am forever grateful to everyone who tweeted and reshared my story to arrest the real criminals facilitating international organized crime. We are a great powerful nation, and I cannot wait to return home,” she said in the letter.
“Thank you for saving my life and the lives of other innocent people who fell prey to this scam. May justice always prevail,” she concluded.
Pereira, who has acted in films such as Sadak 2, Batla House and plays like Three Women, Drumroll, and Sundays with Chitra, lives with her family in the western suburbs of Mumbai. Following an investigation by Mumbai Crime Branch, it was revealed that in all cases, Paul reportedly sought revenge for various reasons — a break-up, jealousy, work-related issues, and a fight with Pereira’s mother over Covid-19 restrictions.
Paul lives with his parents and younger brother in Mira Road, a suburb near Mumbai. According to media reports, he allegedly attempted to implicate Monisha D’Mello, a 33-year-old dress designer from Borivali, Mumbai, because her relative had ended her relationship with him.
He had made a similar attempt with her before by sending her to Sharjah for an event, but she did not comply with Paul’s plan and returned home safely.
The UAE’s strict drug laws are well-known, with possession and personal use of less than 20 grams punishable by a fine or imprisonment. However, the consequences for those caught with larger quantities are even more severe.
Possession of up to 100g can result in a staggering 10-year jail term and a fine of up to Dh100,000 (INR- 2,231,957). The situation only worsens for those carrying more than 100 grams, as authorities consider it, drug trafficking. Such a conviction can lead to a lifetime behind bars and a minimum fine of Dh500,000 (INR - 11,133,971).
These stringent regulations are not limited to UAE nationals; foreign nationals found guilty of drug-related offenses face the additional risk of deportation after serving their prison sentence.
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