In a major development in the case concering the Rs 2,000-crore narcotics racket unearthed in Thane in April, the police on Saturday named former Bollywood actor Mamta Kulkarni as an accused.
Addressing the media on Saturday, the Thane CP Paramveer Singh said, "We will send a request to Interpol for red corner notice against Mamta Kulkarni through CBI."
Mamta's Kenya-based husband Vicky Goswami had been earlier named as an accused in the case. Goswami is believed to be a notorious drug lord wanted by the US for running an international drug racket.
The Thane CP stated that the probe had revealed that both Mamta and Vicky were the masterminds behind the drug racket.
The Thane police has booked the Bollywood actor along with her husband and an international associate of his, Dr Abdulla.
Mamta's bank accounts and investments will also be verified.
"The witness shared their statement in which at present we found that two meetings were held in the past few months. In January 2016, a meeting was held in Kenya that was attended by Mamta Kulkarni, Vicky Goswami, Kishore Singh Rathod, Jay Mukhi, Dr Abdulla, an associate of Goswami, and his two of his associates. The second meeting was held in Dubai at Burj Khalifa that was not attended by Goswami and other people," said The Thane Commissioner of Police.
Singh added that they have had aid from Drug Enforcement Authority (DEA) of USA. "The DEA shared information with us that Mamta and Vicky are in Kenya. During the investigation we found that 100 kg ephidrine was supplied to Vicky Goswami recently with the help of an agent from Mohammed Ali Road. Also, the 1300 kg ephidrine was seized in Gujarat, which was to sent through ships."
Singh added that they had have arrested 10 people in conenction with the case and they are currently in custody. While seven more accused including Mamta Kulkarni and Vicky Goswami who have been booked are absconding.
Drug racket case: According to the new evidences, Mamta Kulkarni(former actor) is now also an accused-Paramveer Singh,Thane Police— ANI (@ANI_news) June 18, 2016
Drug racket case: Mamta Kulkarni's husband Vicky Goswami is already an accused-Paramveer Singh,Thane Police pic.twitter.com/8CcW4p30sq— ANI (@ANI_news) June 18, 2016
The Thane police had in April 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.
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.
Ringleaders Punit Sringi (46), Kishor Singh Rathod, son of former MLA Bhavsingh Rathod; and Jay Mukhi as well as Manoj Jain (46), director of phama company Avon Life Science Limited in Solapur, from where nearly 2000 kg of ephedrine was seized, and supplier Harideep Singh Indarsingh (42) — both of whom were taken into custody — have revealed their links with Goswami and the vast web of the drug racket.
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.
(With Inputs from Faisal Tandel)
Massive drug bust
Thane police had seized around 20,000 kg of ephedrine and party drug mephedrone on April 12. On April 15, the trail led them to the factory of pharma company Avon Life Science Limited in Solapur. Over the days, the police cast a bigger net and caught the ringleaders.