The Kenya police and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have temporarily freed Mamta Kulkarni from detention. But she has been put under strict police surveillance.
Kenyan police authorities have decided to put in restrictions on her leaving the country and have requested her to make herself available at the Port police station in Mombasa whenever she is summoned.
Mamta Kulkarni is cooperating with the police.
Since their arrest, Mamta Kulkarni’s husband, Vicky Goswami and his accomplices are being held at a high-security cell at another police station in Mombasa.
Official Sources from Kenya confirmed that Mamta is currently residing at a bungalow situated in a residential area in Nyali, Mombasa. The bungalow is allegedly owned by the Akasha mafia family.
Baktash Akasha — son of slain Kenyan drug mafia Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla — is a prime accused in the drug bust case which also netted his brother Ibrahim, Vicky and Pakistani national Kulam Hussein. Ibrahim Akasha was gunned down by the police in a red-light area of Mombasa, few years back.
Detained for questioning, Mamta Kulkarni evaded arrest by a whisker because of prompt action by Vicky Goswami’s lawyer, Cliff Ombetta.
Ombeta rushed to Port Police Station yesterday after police officers told him that they wanted to arrest Mamta in connection with two pistols that were found in the same part of the house where Mamta Kulkarni stayed with her husband.
Mamta had not been able to explain where the pistols came from, neither she could produce any document.
Defence lawyer Cliff Ombeta (left) with Baktash Akasha Abdalla (centre) and Mr Vijaygiri Anandgiri Goswami alias Vicky Goswami at the Mombasa Law Courts on November 11, 2014. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP
“These guns are licensed and I submitted their papers to the police. I also stopped the police from interrogating these women because they have nothing to do with this case as far as I am concerned,” said Ombetta.
As soon as Ombetta submitted the gun licenses of the two pistols, Mamta Kulkarni and another woman were released from police custody. The police made a second attempt to take Mamta into custody citing an indictment from the US Embassy (mobile grab below). The indictment names Goswami as “the principal manager of the organisation’s drug manufacturing and distribution business”.
Mamta was spared because the indictment doesn’t mention her name.
The copy of the indictment of Vicky Goswami from Southern District Court in New York. It clearly mentions that Vicky’s name is on the Interpol Red Alert notice.
“The indictment that was sent from America to the Kenyan authorities doesn’t even talk about them or mention that these women are linked to any crime.” Ombeta said.
Ombeta confirmed that Mamta was safe and fine in Kenya. Ombetta also communicated Mamta’s message that she was hoping that her husband, who was released from a jail in Dubai (in 2012, where he spent 10 years for drug dealing), doesn’t get extradited to America.
“I will fight tooth and nail to oppose the extradition of my clients to America,” Ombeta added.
The arrest warrant against Vicky Goswami from US Judge Gabriel Gorenstein of the Southern District Court in New York, on October 28. It was delivered to the Kenyan authorities through the US Embassy in Nairobi on November 10, 2014.
Mamta Kulkarni – now free from police interrogation custody – is expected to appear in the court on Tuesday (November 18, 2014) where it will be decided whether Vicky Goswami will be extradited to the US based on the basis of an arrest warrant that has been issued by US Judge Gabriel Gorenstein of the Southern District Court in New York, on October 28 (mobile grab above).
Ombetta, on his part, will apply for bail of his clients.
As things stand now, Vicky and his partners-in-crime are most likely to be extradited to the US as the Kenyan authorities cannot afford to overlook the US request.
If the accused are not extradited, the government knows that it will trigger a series of diplomatic deadlocks which the present Kenyan government cannot afford.
Mamta has been kept under watch and plainclothes sleuths have been posted near her house to watch her movements. Mamta has been informally asked not to leave the country. Ombetta also wants Mamta to stay back to help him with the case.
And Mamta Kulkarni as usual, head-over-heels in love with Vicky Goswami, refuses to leave his side even though he is a convicted drug trafficker.
Now the big question is: what are the most likely situations for Mamta Kulkarni as the case unfolds.
Here are the most likely scenarios. They are listed in ascending order.
1. Mamta will stay put in Kenya: Vicky Goswami has a nice, big hotel in Parkland, west of Mombasa. Mamta Kulkarni runs the hotel on his behalf. Another hotel is also under construction. Vicky needs to protect his properties and hence Mamta will stay put in Kenya. This is the most likely scenario.
2. Mamta follows Vicky to US: Mamta has a valid multiple entry visa to the US (Her passport number is F 661**** and the multiple-entry US visa was issued to her on 14/11/2010. The visa is valid till 2020). A part of Mamta’s immediate family also lives in the US. Mamta has always followed Vicky wherever he is jailed. She had stayed put in Dubai when Vicky was jailed there. Vicky was in a Dubai jail for 15 years till 2012.
3. Mamta comes back to India: Mamta has become a yogini and she is an ardent follower of a spiritual guru who has an ashram near Haridwar. Mamta had spent time in the Ashram before also. She has also authored an e-book (the book has been taken down) on the saint. One of her sisters is also a follower of the spiritual leader.
4. Mamta is arrested by Kenya police: This is a remote possibility since the police have not been able to gather proof against her. No grave charges cam be brought against her so the police won’t be able to hold her for long. The police hasn’t been able to gather any evidence so far about she being Vicky’s ‘accomplice’.
5. Mamta is also extradited with Vicky: This is next to impossible because US has refused an earlier request from Kenya to seek Mamta’s extradition as Vicky’s wife. It is only possible if the US decides to file a fresh extradition request for Mamta. That looks highly unlikely.
Written inputs, documents and quotes for this report have been provided by an investigative journalist friend who was stationed in Mombasa, Kenya at the time of filing this report.
The documents and photos are copyrighted, please don’t lift without permission.
Mamta Kulkarni was contacted before the article was published. She chose not to comment.
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