PANJIM: Federal investigators have begun a probe into suspected links between police in the beach resort state of Goa and two alleged drug dealers, a senior official said yesterday. The deputy inspector general of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Mumbai, Pravin Salunke, said the investigation started on Wednesday and would see a number of officers questioned in addition to the alleged dealers.
A Swedish model called Lucky Farmhouse who dated one of the alleged dealers, Yaniv Benaim, alias Atala, secretly filmed him boasting that he was supplied with confiscated narcotics to sell by members of the police.
She posted the footage on the video-sharing website YouTube, causing a stir in the former Portuguese colony, where the availability of illegal drugs and aggressive dealing in and around its popular beaches has long caused concern.
It added weight to claims voiced by the mother of a British teenager who was found dead on a north Goa beach in February 2008 that police were reluctant to investigate her death because of their links with local drugs gangs.
Seven police officers were later arrested.  Benaim, an Israeli national, jumped bail but was re-arrested in Peru and is currently awaiting extradition from South America.  A police sub-inspector was also caught on tape socialising with the sister and girlfriend of another suspected dealer David Driham, known as Dudu and also Israeli. Driham is currently on bail.
The Goa state government handed over the cases to the CBI on the direction of the Bombay High Court, which upheld a petition from a students’ union calling for the matter to be taken out of the state police’s hands.  Opposition parties in Goa have accused the authorities of dragging their feet in the investigation and of potential conflicts of interest.
However, politicians and journalists are off the radar of the CBI probe, an official said.  “About politicians and journalists...we cannot rely only on media reports for investigation. There are police officers who have been named. As far as we know, it is a police-drug peddler nexus,” CBI Superintendent of Police S S Gavali said.
An initial probe by the anti-narcotics cell of Goa police had suggested the involvement of journalists in Goa’s drug peddling network.
The Swedish model has also linked Goa Home Minister Ravi Naik’s son Roy to the racket.  Asked if the agency would probe Roy, Gavali said: “We will not be able to make unjustified remarks or comments.”
Gavali, who heads the CBI’s Goa branch, said that the federal agency would also probe the broad drug nexus in Goa, including the inflow and trade of drugs in the state.  “We are going to probe the drug network in a broader sense too by tracking down the source of drugs to the network of drug trade in Goa,” he said.
He said the drug scene in Goa was a “big concern”, and appealed to the people to give the CBI any tips they may come across.  “We are in the process of taking over investigation related documents from the local police stations,” Gavali said, adding that local police would be roped in for logistical assistance. – GT


N.Fernandes-London said...

Lets us hope the Chief Dealer of South Goa, Matthew Diniz & his restaurant Kentuckee,will come under the scanner too.
Kentuckee Restaurant is the South Goa Branch Office, of the Goa Drug Cartel.  

Gobor said...

The whole world knows this. But we also  know our CBI  is something out-of- the-world

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