The 90s bombshell and Bollywood actor Mamta Kulkarni and her boyfriend Vicky Goswami were declared as ‘Proclaimed Offenders’ in Ephedrine Case, by Thane Sessions Court in Mumbai on Tuesday. The Thane sessions court also declared Mamta Kulkarni and her boyfriend Vicky Goswami as absconders in drug haul case. The duo is the main accused in the Rs 2000 crore Ephedrine drug haul case. This case came in public eyes in April 2016 when the Thane Police arrested two drug peddlers who, on being questioned, revealed that the source of the drug was Avon Lifescience Pvt Ltd. in Solapur, which is allegedly owned by Goswami.
“It is pronounced and declared that the accused Vicky Goswami and Mamta Kulkarni are the proclaimed offenders. The immovable properties belonging to the accused be attached,” ordered the Special NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) CourtJudge H. M Patwardhan.
Accordingly, the Special Court has issued warrants under Section 82 of the Criminal Procedure Code, against the two prime accused – who are believed to be in Kenya’s Mombasa city – in the case which has another eight accused and four absconders.
Police will now be required to submit, within 30 days, a compliance report on the Special Court’s order, which comes a month after the Thane Police informed the court that the absconding couple failed to comply with a proclamation order requiring them to appear before the court.
Tuesday’s development came nine months after Kulkarni, 45, denied all police allegations against her and claimed she was “innocent” and a “Yogini” (ascetic), in a recorded statement from Kenya.
She also said she had written to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, asking them to order an inquiry against the Maharashtra Police for dragging her name into the drugs case.
“I have never engaged in any act contrary to the principles of Indian statutes and am a victim of high-handedness, crude, unprofessional and unethical conspiracy by the officers of the US’s Drug Enforcement Administration and the Thane police,” she said in her plea to the two Union ministers.
Police said that Kulkarni’s name was included in the FIR after the DEA provided evidences of involvement of Moroccan and Colombian drug mafia in the case and how the Goswami-Kulkarni couple attended certain drug smuggling meetings in January-April last year.
In April 2016, the Thane police effected a rich drugs haul from Mumbai, Thane and Solapur of around 18.5 tonnes of ephedrine and 2.5 tonnes of acetic anhydride, valued at more than Rs 2,000 crore, blowing the lid off a major international narcotics racket.
The police have nabbed a total of 10 accused in the case, besides probing another seven wanted accused.
According to the investigations, ephedrine intended was making medicines was allegedly smuggled to a pharma unit, Avon LifeSciences Ltd, Solapur and converted to narcotics, including a popular variety of a party drug.
Kulkarni’s alleged involvement in the racket was confirmed by some of the accused in the case.
Those arrested in what is billed as India’s biggest drugs haul include Nigerian Sipren Chinassa, who led police to other accused including Manoj Jain, director of BSE-listed Avon Lifesciences Ltd., Punit Shringi, Pradeep Gill, Sagar Powale, Mayur Sukdhare, Dhaneshwar Swamy and Dnyaneshwar Dhimri.
The DEA later joined in the probe and its officials met Thane police officers to get details as Goswami is allegedly wanted in the US.
Incidentally, Goswami and Kulkarni 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 Kulkarni, now 45 and they have settled in Mombasa.
Mamta Kulkarni is a former Indian actress and model. She was part of several commercial successful Hindi films such asAashiq Awara (1993), Waqt Hamara Hai (1993), Krantiveer (1994), Karan Arjun (1995), Sabse Bada Khiladi (1995), Baazi(1996), China Gate (1998), Beqabu (1995), and Chhupa Rustam: A Musical Thriller (2001) among others. Her performance in Aashiq Awara (1993) won her the 1994 Filmfare Award for Lux New Face of the Year. In the blockbusterKaran Arjun (1995), directed by Rakesh Roshan, Kulkarni starred alongside Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan. She quit the film industry after her appearance in the film Kabhie Tum Kabhie Hum.
During her career she was offered films with Mithun Chakraborty, Ajay Devgan, Bobby Deol, Shahrukh Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Akshay Khanna, Salman Khan, Govinda,Anil Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan and Aamir Khan. She turned down many big films such as Sapoot, Angaaray, Mr and Mrs Khiladi, Bandahan, Aunty No.1, Dulhe Raja,Davaa, Shikari, Hogi Pyar Ki Jeet and Kareeb because her role was not substantial.
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