Mamta Kulkarni, Bollywood's sex siren in the '90s, was born on April 20, 1972. Seen onscreen in the 1990s, Kulkarni has worked with some of the top Bollywood actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Akshay Kumar and others. She made her acting debut in the Hindi film industry in 1992 with Nana Patekar and Raaj Kumar's Tirangaa (All photos/mid-day archives)
Photographer Jayesh Sheth had shot the much-publicised topless photo of Mamta Kulkarni for a film glossy that catapulted her into Bollywood overnight. She starred in a number of commercially successful Bollywood films in the 90s – Waqt Hamara Hai (1993), Krantiveer (1994), Karan Arjun (1995) and Sabse Bada Khiladi (1995). She even won the New Face of the Year award for her performance in Aashiq Awara (1993). She was last seen in the 2002-flop Kabhie Tum Kabhie Hum.
Mamta Kulkarni then made the headlines in November 2014 when reports emerged of her being detained in Kenya along with her husband and alleged drug-lord Vikram 'Vicky' Goswami on the grounds of alleged drug trafficking. Goswami was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1997 in Dubai. He was released in 2012. Mamta married Goswami in 2013 and moved their base to Kenya.
In 2016, Mamta Kulkarni along with her husband Vicky Goswami again made headlines after they were accused of running an international drug racket from Kenya. The Anti-Narcotics Cell of Thane Crime Branch had called Molina Mukund Kulkarni, the elder sister of Mamta Kulkarni, for questioning and to gather evidence against Kulkarni. Unaware of business, Molina, who resided in Mira Road, was questioned about Kulkarni’s background, and whether she was aware of her drug business. But she claimed she was unaware. "She claims that she is in regular touch with her over the phone. Both of them contact each other and discuss their well being," said a police officer.
Mamta Kulkarni, however, denied all allegations against her, saying she was a "yogini" and "innocent". "I am a yogini (ascetic). I am engaged in spirituality and its effects on activities since the past 20 years. I am innocent of the accusations against me. I have never engaged in any act contrary to the principles of Indian statutes and am a victim of high-handedness, crude, an unprofessional and unethical conspiracy by the officers of the US's Drug Enforcement Administration and the Thane police," Kulkarni, said in a videotaped statement from Kenya's Mombasa, where she was based.
The case first came into the limelight when Mamta Kulkarni's name cropped up on June 18 (2016) in the Rs 2,000 crore ephedrine drugs haul case cracked by Thane police in which her husband and business partner Vicky Goswami is a co-accused. The case started in April with a series of drugs haul in Mumbai, Thane and Solapur and police also learnt that the Kulkarni-Goswami couple had attended meetings in January and April this year for drug smuggling and setting up a drugs factory in Mombasa.
Mamta Kulkarni's husband Vicky Goswami was arrested in Mombassa in 2014 following a sting operation by Kenyan cops and the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). He was released on bail on the condition that he would stay in the country until a local court decided on an extradition request by the US.
Last year, a team of crime branch officials went to Mamta Kulkarni's house at Sky Enclave in Versova, suburban Mumbai, and pasted a notice on the door as the actress' whereabouts weren't known. A similar notice was posted at her husband Vicky Goswami's residence in Ahmedabad, said assistant police commissioner Bharat Shelke, the chief investigating officer. "If both the accused fail to remain present before Thane police within the given period, we will start the process of seizing their properties with court's permission," Shelke told PTI.
Mamta Kulkarni, who is wanted in the Ephedrine drug bust cast by the Thane Police, was issued a Red Corner Notice (RCN) too. A Red Corner Notice (RCN), which is issued at the request of the United Nations Security Council, is considered the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant in use.
Thane cops believe Mamta Kulkarni and alleged druglord Vicky Goswami would convert the Ephedrine obtained from Solapur and convert it into methamphetamine at their Kenya factory only to supply it various countries. She is believed to be in hiding in Mombassa, Kenya.
Mamta Kulkarni's husband Vicky Goswami 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. A year later, the couple got married.
On the professional front, very few know that Mamta Kulkarni had turned down Akshay Kumar and Juhi Chawla's Mr. & Mrs. Khiladi, Govinda and Raveena Tandon's Aunty No.1, again Govinda and Raveena Tandon's Dulhe Raja, Salman Khan's Bandhan, Akshay Kumar's Aflatoon because her role, according to her wasn't really substantial.
Mamta Kulkarni was also linked up with Aamir Khan (Baazi), Salman Khan (she worked with him in Karan-Arjun), Govinda (Kismat) and Akshay Kumar (Sabse Bada Khiladi). She, however, maintained that she is only good friends with them.
Mamta Kulkarni has a plethora of super-hit songs to her credit. 'Bholi Bhali Ladki', 'Bharo Maang Meri', 'Dheere Dheere Aap Mere', 'Mujhko Rana Ji Maaf Karna', 'Koi Jaaye Toh Le Aaye' to name a few.
Mamta Kulkarni last made headlines in November 2017 as users saw her active on social media posting her selfies. Those selfies also exposed her location to a city in Nigeria. It turned out that she had been shuttling between Nigeria and Kenya trying desperately to salvage the drug money stashed by her husband Vicky Goswami in different places even as the business empire is falling apart.
Mamta Kulkarni took Bollywood by storm in the '90s with her bold acts in a few movies before disappearing. She starred in a number of commercially successful Bollywood films in the 90s – Waqt Hamara Hai (1993), Krantiveer (1994), Karan Arjun (1995) and Sabse Bada Khiladi (1995). She even won the New Face of the Year award for her performance in Aashiq Awara (1993). She was last seen in the 2002-flop Kabhie Tum Kabhie Hum. Let's look at the controversial life of Mamta Kulkarni after her showbiz stint