The notorious drug lord is wanted by 6 countries, has been on the run since a year. US agency has sought Thane police’s help in tracking him down
The drug racket uncovered recently by the Thane police just got murkier. The trail has led the police to former Bollywood actress Mamta Kulkarni’s husband, Vicky Goswami, a notorious drug lord wanted by the US for running an international narcotics racket.
Mamta Kulkarni. Pic/Santa Banta
Ringleaders Punit Sringi (46), who was arrested on Tuesday; 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 20,00 kg of ephedrine was seized, and supplier Harideep Singh Indarsingh (42) — both of whom were taken into custody earlier this month — have revealed their links with Goswami and the vast web of the drug racket.
Goswami, the son of a retired DSP, is based out of Ahmedabad. “Rathod and Mukhi are also from Ahmedabad and had connections with Goswami. Jain, Rathod and Punit have visited Kenya to smuggle drugs for Goswami,” said a police officer.
Thane police sources said Goswami and Kulkarni were arrested by the Kenya police around 18 months ago in a drug smuggling racket. “He was released on bail a year ago and has been absconding since then. During this period, he has continued to run his drug racket,” revealed another police officer.
International agencies, like the US Drug Enforcement Administration, are on Goswami’s heels.
“Derek Odney, a senior officer of the American narcotics bureau visited us on Wednesday to gathering details regarding the international smuggling racket. The American agency is taking care of six countries where Goswami is wanted. International agencies, along with Thane police, have now launched a manhunt for him,” said a senior police officer.
Goswami was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1997 in Dubai. He was released in 2012.
The police also revealed that Jain had hired Sringi as the director in-charge of his firm to allow for smooth smuggling operations. Indarsingh was their conduit. All of the accused have been produced in court and remanded in police custody till May 9, said thane Commissioner of Police Parambir Singh.
During Sringi’s arrest on Tuesday, the police also seized 10 kg of ephedrine from his car. Sringi was sleeping in his car during his escape. He has admitted to his ties with Jain and Harideep, said an officer from anti-narcotics cell.
During his interrogation Sringi also revealed that he had supplied a consignment to one Narendra Kacha in Ahmedabad, who was recently arrested by the Gujarat police with 1.30 tonnes of ephedrine. “Sringi had direct links to Narendra Kacha, Jai Mukhi and Kishor Rathod. Their consignments were routed out of the country through Gujarat,” said a senior officer.
Thane police had earlier this month 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.