Goa

Gulliver’s Travel: A voyage to Goa

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If someone were to write a sequel to Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels: A Voyage to Brobdingnag; it would be called Gulliver’s Travel: A voyage to Goa. However, Swift’s Gulliver, the surgeon, would be replaced by very many Russian, European, Nigerian and Israeli Gullivers’.Just like the friendly creatures welcomed Gulliver into their land, in the same manner Goans would have also welcomed travellers from all over the world to Goa. However, unlike Gulliver who after spending two years in Brobdingnag wants to return home, the Gulliver’s in Goa have no will or inclination to return home.

The urge to explore and discover Goa is so high for the Russian, European, Nigerian and Israeli Gullivers’ that they find very many reasons to stay in Goa. Of course the Goa police and the politicians, often help them in their endeavours and ensure that these Gullivers’ find a safe haven in the state. And they continue to live, earn and flourish in Goa, even though they don’t have a work permit. Even though their Visa expires they continue to stay in the country for years without any fear of the law of the land.

Despite Anita Rodrigues, SP, Foreigner’s Branch claim, “We issue them deportation order and they leave the country”, foreigners overstaying in the state adopt numerous tricks to ensure that they are not deported from the country:

Trick 1: I WANT TO STUDY

Many, especially Nigerians, come to Goa on study visa. Once in Goa they either take admission in a college or join a football club and continue to stay in the country. Most of them ensure that they never pass the exams and thus use this as an excuse to overstay in Goa.

Trick 2: PAY FINE & LIVE IN GOA

Those who are overstaying can be booked under the Passport Entry Act into India, 1995, if they don’t have a passport. If Visa has expired then the tourist can be booked under the Foreigners’ Regulation Order for violating Visa conditions. Once the police book them, they are produced in court. The Act says that any foreigner who overstays is either imposed a fine of Rs 2000 to 5000 or jailed for six months. Foreigners opt to pay the fine and stay in Goa.

Trick 3: ONCE FINED, FREE FOREVER

According to the Act, once a person who is overstaying is fined a sum and pays it, then they can’t be arrested for the same offence again. Many take advantage of the loophole in the law and whenever police questions them, they produce the court fee challan. However, the situation would be different, if once convicted of overstaying, the government takes immediate steps to deport the person who is overstaying, said a top police official. He added that until the time they are deported they should be sent to a remand home and the deportation process should be expedite.

TRICK 4: A CASE OR TWO DOES THE TRICK

Often foreigner’s overstaying get entangled in legal battles to ensure that they overstay. Once the matter is in court, it becomes all the more difficult to deport them.

TRICK 5: I AM BROKE

Government officials on condition of anonymity say that to deport the foreigner’s overstaying in the state, government has to spend from its own pocket. “This the government claims is a burden on the public exchequer and this refrains us from taking any action against those overstaying. The result is that they keep overstaying and involve themselves in nefarious activities,” said another top police official.

What is worse is that though the Foreigners Registration Act, 1946 clearly states that foreigners should not carry, buy, sell or use psychotropic drugs or any other narcotic substances while in India as their purchase, sale or possession is a cognisable offence, many indulge in the sale of drugs. While several Israelis and Russians are involved in the drug trade, the Nigerians work as runners. They are never caught, either for overstaying or for selling drugs, thanks to the political patronage that they enjoy in the state.

As a senior police official rightly said, “Overstaying of foreigners has caused innumerable problems, but the government is hardly interested in tackling the issue”.

When contacted, Rina Torcato, DySP, Foreigner’s Branch said, “Most of these people who are overstaying are engaged in court cases and when a matter is pending in the court, we can’t deport them because the matter is in the court. However, on two occasions we have deported a Nigerian”. But when asked to name them and the day they were deported, she failed to give any answer.

Our investigations reveal that Foreigner’s office in Panjim issues leave India notice but never follows it up. “It is beyond our capacity to deport a foreigner, though we know that innumerable Israelis, Germans and Russians in the Northern coastal belt have taken advantage of this”, revealed a staffer at the Foreigner’s office in Panjim.

Rules are made to be broken and many foreigners in Goa continue to break laws in Goa and yet continue to live in the state unaffected. Check out a few who have managed to stay in the state, even though they have violated continuously violated the law of the land. This is just a tip of the iceberg.

· It is a known fact that Nigerians are used as “runners” by bigger Israeli and Russian drug lords in the state. But this gained importance when Charles Vozar, a Nigerian was arrested in 1992 for carrying cocaine. It is the same year that he came to Goa with his wife. It is reliably learnt that Charles had swallowed a big sachet of cocaine. Police got him admitted at the GMC. Police requested the doctors to give him a stomach wash but the initial efforts were futile. Later Charles was sent to the lock-up and it is here that he panicked fear that the cocaine pouch in his stomach may burst and he may die. He complained of stomach pain and fainted. It was here at the GMC that Dr Madhu was asked by Charles to give him a stomach wash again. Dr Madhu mentioned about this in the case paper which proved to be an important ground for Charles conviction. Later, he was arrested by Police Inspector Shetgaonkar for overstaying and he contested that his passport was with the ANC. At the moment he runs a notorious place called the Santana bar and restaurant at Gaura waddo in Calangute. This place is frequented by various notorious Nigerians and whatever plans and underhand dealings, even in the black Dollar trade are hatched here. Police officials say that he is taking undue advantage of the court cases against him and hanging him in Goa. Sources at the ANC revealed that both he and his wife are topping the list of the ANC compiled by the National Narcotic Control Bureau, among the Nigerians and the government is doing pretty little to deport them. The former controversial ANC team were much grateful to the existence of Charles and they were overfriendly with them and also a police informer who would provide the names of minor runners in the drug trade. Charles deosn’t have money to go back but yet stays in a palatial house.

Arrested by PSI Rajan Prabhudessai and convicted for eight months for possessing 169 gram of brown sugar, worth Rs 25,000 in 2001. Charles had come to live in Goa along with his wife Gloria in 1992. Charles went to appeal in the high Court and the case is still going on.

* Jessi again a Nigerian, who is in list of the ANC is booked in the passport forgery case. so shrewd and cunning is Jessi that in his own passport, he extended his visa from 2001 to 2010 and got caught by the police in 2003. Incidentally, he is out on bail and now moves around freely.

Johnny Lamad, Afrcian, who was overstaying along with a friend raped a British national. Johnny befriended a foreigner in restaurant in Calangute and asked her to accompany him to a disco at late night. When she refused, he offered to drop her home, which she agreed to, lest knowing what was in store. Instead of dropping her home, he took her to his friend’s house and the two men took turns in raping the woman and threatened to kill her.

Johnny Young, Bahamas, a close associate of Jacarias, a notorious criminals and alleged murderer involved with various armed cases form Goa. Sources reveal that Johnny was instrumental in teaching Jacarias the trade of throwing chilli powder into the eyes of the jailor and escaping from jail. So high are Johnny’s contacts at various embassies that he helped Jacarias escape to Dubai. But he himself is overstaying in Goa thanks to a on-going rape case against him.

Alexis, a notorious Russian drug dealer, whose name figures among the top drug dealer in the National Narcotic Control Bureau list had come to Goa on a work permit. Though his visa expired in, he was overstaying. Finally, law caught up with him and issued him a Leave India Notice and he was planning to shift base to Kulu Manali. Thankfully, probably for the first time, the police acted and deported him before Alexis could take advantage of a loophole in the Act and overstay.

Another Nigerian Ifeanyi Patrick Okoye came to India on June 14, 2005 and his visa expired on December 13, 2005.

(Artilce appeared in Gomantak Times, Panjim edition, India)

(Credits: Peter de Souza and Preetu Nair GT)

One Trackback

  1. By Home Inspector Registration on February 28, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    What Should Home Inspectors Check?…

    We are currently in the middle of a big buyer’s market. If you decide to make an offer on a home, you are going to need to have a home inspector give it the once over before closing on the deal….

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