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Saturday, December 9, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Saturday, December 9, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Kenyan Drug Case Crashes Into Bollywood

(CN) - The husband of a former Bollywood starlet appears on a blockbuster indictment that busts a globe-hopping narcotics ring whose exploits allegedly came to an end after U.S. informants embedded in a Kenyan crime family.

Vijaygiri Anandgiri Goswami, also known as Vijay and Vicky, is reportedly detained in Kenya with India's former sweetheart Mamta Kulkarni, star of the films "Karan Arjun" and "Baazi."

As news of their arrest tickled the wires internationally, the U.S. Attorney's Office named Goswami, but not Kulkarni, as one of four defendants in a colorful Nov. 10 indictment against the Akasha crime family in Kenya.

The four defendants were arrested in Mombasa, Kenya, on Sunday.

The U.S. Attorney's office said that the men were presented in Kenya today and ordered remanded.

Led by Baktash Akasha Abdalla, the family is said to be responsible for moving "ton quantities" of heroin and other narcotics through East Africa, into Afghanistan, and out to the United States and the rest of the world.

Baktash's brother and alleged deputy, Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla, and their Pakistani associate, Gulam Hussein, whom they allegedly called "Old Man," are also named as defendants.

As of March this year, the foursome allegedly had two other members on a covert mission from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Posing as members of an unnamed "Colombian drug trafficking organization," the agents videotaped and audio-recorded a plan to import "100 percent" pure heroin, or "white crystal," into the United States.

After negotiating the price per kilogram, Baktash Akasha assured one of the agents that he arranged for them to speak over highly secure communications equipment, according to the indictment.

"There is a communications company in Europe that provides cellphones that are so secure that you can say 'hashish' and 'crystal' over the telephone without worrying about being intercepted by American or Israeli intelligence," Akasha said, according to the indictment.

The men nevertheless spoke about heroin using the code words "carat diamond" and "diamond" when chatting with drug suppliers in Pakistan the next month, prosecutors say.

In a later conversation, Goswami allegedly referred to heroin as "chickens."

Heroin shipments that summer got "delayed because of, among other things, religious holidays and rough seas in the Indian Ocean," according to the indictment.

Goswami allegedly took over operations from there and told one of the DEA agents that the "Old Man" would come from Pakistan in September with a shipment.

According to the indictment, the shipment came from an unidentified supplier known as "The Sultan," whom Goswami allegedly called the "number one supplier of white heroin in the world."

In October, one of the informants called Baktash Akasha and the "Old Man" from New York to tell the two that he would test the heroin's purity in the Big Apple.

During that conversation, Akasha allegedly gushed that he had "big dreams for their business together."

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