Ness Wadia gets 2-yr jail in Japan for possessing drugs
New Delhi: Ness Wadia, son of industrialist Nusli Wadia and inheritor of one of India’s wealthiest business families, has been sentenced to a two-year jail term in Japan for possession of drugs while on a skiing holiday.
The Sapporo District Court has handed him the two-year prison sentence, which has been suspended for five years.
Financial Times has reported that Ness Wadia, heir to the 283-year-old Wadia Group and co-owner of the Kings XI Punjab cricket team, was arrested in early March at New Chitose Airport in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.
According to a brief report carried by a local Hokkaido station of state broadcaster NHK, customs officials at New Chitose were alerted to Wadia by sniffer dogs and a search revealed that he had about 25g of what appeared to be cannabis resin in his trouser pocket.
The Wadia empire has many units, which include Bombay Dyeing, Bombay Burman Trading, biscuit giant Britannia Industries to budget airline GoAir and a share in IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab with the total market valuation of its listed entities standing at $13.1 billion.
A court official in Sapporo told the Financial Times that Wadia admitted to possession, arguing that the drug was for his personal use.
Japan’s narcotics laws are strict and are currently being applied especially tightly.
Wadia spent a period in detention before his indictment on March 20 and an undisclosed period of detention before a court hearing.
Meanwhile, maintaining that the jail term by a Japanese court for Ness Wadia in a drug case remains suspended, the Wadia Group Tuesday said that the development will not impact the Group heir in discharging his responsibilities.
“The judgment is clear. It is a suspended sentence. Hence it will not impact Ness Wadia in the discharge of any of his responsibilities and he will continue to play the role that he has done hitherto, both within the Group and outside,” Wadia Group spokesperson said in a statement.
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