Former Bollywood actress Mamta Kulkarni and her Kenya-based husband Vicky Goswami have come under the scanner of police and enforcement agencies in connection with a Rs.2,000-crore narcotics racket unearthed in Thane, a senior police officer said.
Mamta Kulkarni. Pic/Santa Banta
Last week, the Thane police seized 18.50 tonnes of ephedrine and 2.50 tonnes of acetic anhydride, both banned party drugs valued at more than Rs.2,000 crore in the international market, from a pharmaceutical factory in Solapur and other locations in Thane and Mumbai.
"It is an international racket and Vicky Goswami is the main link in it. As for Mamta Kulkarni, we shall probe her role in the matter," Thane Police Commissioner Parambir Singh told the media here.
Eight persons, including Nigerian Sipren Chinassa, have been arrested in what could be India's biggest drug haul. The Maharashtra and Gujarat police are on the lookout for at least four other people who are missing and reportedly on the run.
Chinassa led the police to other accused who include Manoj Jain, director of BSE-listed Avon Lifesciences Ltd., Punit Shringi, Pradeep Gill, Sagar Powale, Mayur Sukdhare, Dhaneshwar Swamy and Dnyaneshwar Dhimri.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration too has joined in the probe. The US agency met Thane police officials for details as Goswami is allegedly wanted in the United States.
Incidentally, Vicky and Mamta were detained by Kenyan authorities in 2014 on the charge of drug trafficking.
Goswami, 52, was earlier imprisoned for 25 years in the United Arab Emirates in 1997 for trafficking around 11.50 tonnes of Mandrax but was released in November 2012 on grounds of good conduct.
In 2013, he married Mamta Kulkarni, now 44. The couple is reportedly based in Mombasa in Kenya.
"During questioning, the arrested accused revealed they had travelled to Kenya and met Goswami with plans to set up a drug factory in Mombasa," Singh said.
During the 1990s, Mamta Kulkarni was paired with some of the top Bollywood stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Akshay Kumar, Sanjay Kapoor, Atul Agnihotri and many more. She had participated in a TV show and bagged a Femina award too.