According to a senior Thane police official, they are probing the leads received about the involvement of a Bollywood personality, who acted in films in the 80s and 90s, besides a TV actress and some small-time actors in the case after their names cropped up during investigations.
These people, who are under the scanner, allegedly attended meetings in Mumbai hotels, where Goswami discussed the mode of drug supply. Also, some of them are in close contact with kingpin Goswami, the official said without taking any names.
Earlier, Thane Police had told media persons that one of the arrested persons in the case had in a statement under section 164 of CrPC given details of the modus operandi and about the crucial meetings held in Kenya and Dubai regarding the ephedrine sale.
In all, there were 17 accused in the case, of whom seven were still at large. The remaining 10 have been arrested and are now in judicial custody.
The arrests were made when police seized around 18.5 tonne of ephedrine, worth approximately Rs 2,000 crore, after raiding the premises of Avon Lifesciences Ltd in Maharashtra’s Solapur district in April.
According to police, ephedrine, which is a controlled drug, was allegedly being diverted from the Solapur unit of Avon Lifesciences and sent abroad after processing. The ephedrine power is used for sniffing and is also used to produce popular party drug methamphetamine.
The accused currently in jail are: Sagar Suresh Powle, Mayur Suresh Sukhdhare, Rajendra Jagdambaprasad Dimri, Dhaneshwar Rajaram Swami, Puneet Ramesh Shringi, Manoj Tejraj Jain, Hardipsingh Indersingh Gill, Narendra Dhirajlal Kacha, Babasaheb Shankar Dhotre and Jai Mulji Mukhi.
Those on the run include Kishore Rathod, said to be the son of a former politician, and an accused identified only as Dr Abdullah, who is based abroad, as well as two of his associates, police said.
The entire drug racket first came to light when Thane Police arrested a Nigerian national in a drug case on April 12. His interrogation led police to Solapur, where they conducted raids in the premises of Avon Lifesciences on April 14.