Former actress Mamta Kulkarni was named as a prime accused in a multi-crore drug racket linked to drug baron Vicky Goswami on Saturday. Mumbai police claimed she was involved in the illicit activities and plan on seeking her extradition from Kenya.
Addressing a press conference, Thane Police commissioner, Param Bir Singh, said the statements of arrested suspects in the case and inputs received from the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) confirmed Kulkarni’s involvement in the crime.
Thane police got a major break in the case when they seized Rs 2,000 crore-worth of the banned party drug ephedrine on April 16. Based on information from two arrested peddlers, police found 18,000 kgs of the drug in a factory owned by Avon Lifesciences in Solapur. The former Bollywood actress is one of company’s board directors and owns Rs 11 lakh worth of shares. An accused also testified that she was part of business meetings in Tanzania and Dubai in which details of their drug trade and distribution were discussed.
The police are now in the process of having a red corner notice (international arrest warrant) issued against her.
After the drug bust in April, both Kulkarni and her husband Goswami came under police scanner, though Goswami – who has connections in Africa – is believed to be the main link in the racket. The couple is believed to be living in Kenya.
How Business Went Down:
April, 12 – Two accused drug peddlers, Sagar Suresh Powale and Mayur Suresh Sukhdare, are arrested from Vartak Nagar. They were caught with ephedrine worth Rs 12 lakh.
April 14 – Two more accused are arrested from Solapur, identified as drug peddler, Dhaneshwar Rajaram Swamy and senior production manager at Avon Pharma Lifesciences Limited, Rajendra Jagdamba Prasad Dimbri.
April 16 – Police seize 18,000 kgs of ephedrine from a factory owned by Avon Pharma Lifesciences Limited in Solapur.
April 27 – The company’s director, Manoj Tejraj Jain, is arrested. Police also arrest Punit Ramesh Shingi who allegedly oversaw manufacture and transport of the drug across India, and Hardeepsingh Gill who transported the drug. During search operations, police find 10 kgs of ephedrine from Shringi’s car and 180 kgs from Gill. Kishoresingh Rathod, son of MLA Bhavsingh Rathod and believed to be the main dealer from Gujarat, is added to the list of accused.
May 2-5 – The names of Mamta Kulkarni and husband Vicky Goswami crop up in the investigation. Police search her flat in Versova, and find that its maintenance is paid from an account in Gujarat owned by Rathod. DEA officers also visit Thane and share crucial information regarding the international drug racket.
May 15 – Narendra Kacha, who allegedly supplied drugs from Solapur to Gujarat and was arrested in April, is brought to Thane.
May 30 – Key accused Jay Mukhi is arrested from the Nepal border near Gorakhpur and brought to Thane the next day.
June 1 – A forensic lab confirms that 50 of the 100 samples sent are ephedrine.
June 9 – A chargesheet is filed against Powale, Sukhdare, Swamy and Dimbri.
June 15 – Gujarat police take custody of Shringi and move him to Gujarat. Jain is also taken to Gujarat for questioning.
June 18 – Thane police include Kulkarni’s name in the FIR. So far, statements of more than 60 people have been recorded.