Goa

THE LATEST ‘CASE’ STUDY OF GOAS DRUG BUSINESS

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The arrest of Italian national, a minor girl, at the Dabolim airport by the custom officials have brought to fore the so far unexposed racket of the drug mafia who use unsuspecting minor kids to serve as drug couriers or “mules” abroad.

The girl was caught at the airport on March 14 at 7 am with 3560 “ecstasy” tablets and 760 gram of MDMA worth Rs 55 lakh in the Indian market and Rs 60 crore in the international market. She was to board an Indian Airlines flight to Mumbai for Auckland via Singapore. Superintendent of customs GD Lotlikar had said that as she went through customs, when her black bag was detected containing ecstasy tablets and MDMA hidden in a secret compartment by the X-ray machine. She has been charged under Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and Customs Act and is at the moment relinquishing at Apna Ghar, Merces.

GT/Weekender investigations reveal that with a crackdown on the rave party organizers, the business in the Goa market was dull this season. As a result, the drug mafia is now “outsourcing” synthetic drugs to foreign shores using minor kids. “This year several kilograms of coke and MDMA has been unsold and unused as several rave parties have been clamped down. These synthetic drugs have shelf life of 500 days only. If they are sold within this time, quality deteriorates,” revealed a police officer.

It is reliably learnt that drug peddlers sell 10 percent of the synthetic drug in the open market, 40 percent at rave parties and 50 percent is sent to the cosmopolitan cities in the country. Highly placed sources in the police reveal that there was a time when the drug mafia used to sell drugs worth Rs 5 crore plus at the six-day rave party organized near a popular school in Anjuna. “However, due to some controversy surrounding the venue, they couldn’t sell drugs here this year”, the source added.

The angelic looking demure, Italian girl is just one of the victims. Sources in the Customs and police reveal that the brain behind the whole racket is Israeli drug lord Agai, who operates through another middleman Amir, an Israeli. GT/Weekender investigations reveal that while Amir acts as a middleman between the drug dealers and carriers. Most of the drugs are ‘bought’ by a top international dealer in Japan who purchases these drugs and supplies it to various countries, mostly to Turkey and Germany, for music trance festival or rave parties.

Amir, a young and charming man, is in Goa since long and runs a designer clothes shop at Anjuna. His main job is to strike a deal between the dealers and young carriers. He never discloses the source to the young carriers.

The script of Goa’s expert drug exporters

METHOD 1: Cocaine is cool and so are we: H e befriends minor kids and introduces them to cocaine. Then he caters to their needs and provides them with food, stay and money. Once they are hooked to the drug, he forces them to carry the drug consignments to its foreign destination.

KNOWN VICTIMS: Two minors who had fallen victim to this trick and were caught in Mumbai are a Isareli boy and a German girl. Sources reveal that there are four other minor victims of Amir who were caught in Mumbai, but it couldn’t be confirmed.

METHOD 2:
Clothes unmaketh the man(or woman): He befriends minor kids and wins their trust. He lures them with gifts and pretends to be their closest buddy, who understands their dreams and aspirations. After winning their confidence, when they don’t bother to ask him any questions, he offers them an all paid trip abroad but with a simple condition: “you will have to carry a briefcase with my designer clothes with you, which will collected by friend at the airport”. The ‘ innocent possessors’ are tricked into carrying the drug.

KNOWN VICTIM :
The Italian girl had to pay a heavy price for befriending Amir.

Reliable sources inform that after the minor girl was caught, the drug lords called an emergency meeting at a shack run by a top Russian drug lord at Vithaldas vaddo in Morjim. Both Amir and Agai were present at the meeting. “After the meeting, Amir was advised to leave the state as Custom officials were for on his trail. We suspect that he paid 8000 US dollar to get a safe passage out from the country,” added a top police official.

When GT contacted DIG Ujjwal Mishra he said, “As far as we know, we have been told that she was carrying the drug for personal consumption and very little for selling in a party.” He completely denied the abuse of minors by the drug lords for “outsourcing” drugs. “I have no knowledge about it,” he added.

It is really strange that a girl who carries so much of drugs for consumption leads a very normal life at Apna Ghar! Sources at Apna Ghar reveal, “She has no withdrawal symptoms, eats only vegetarian food and performs yoga everyday.”

MINOR GIRL’S STORY

The minor girl, by now, should have been relaxing in Auckland. But at the moment, the 18-year-old Italian backpacker, is preparing for another night in Apna Ghar, a home for juveniles in conflict with the law, after her Auckland trip via Singapore turned into a nightmare.

Sources reveal that the girl, born to an Italian mother and an Indian father was studying in a boarding school in Mumbai. After her standard X exams she came down to her sister’s place in Anjuna. In Goa, she was spotted almost at all parties, smiling and dancing with her friends. She was also seen at rave parties and high night parties at the coastal belt in North Goa.

It’s at one such party that she met 23-year-old Israeli, popularly known as DJ Tamar. Soon they fell in love and the couple was spotted at all the parties were Tamar performed as a DJ. A beautiful girl, she was also noticed by Amir. Amir befriended her and after winning her trust convinced her to take a fully paid trip aboard. Her boyfriend DJ Tomar was kept in the dark.

Two days after the girl was arrested, her boyfriend was beaten up at a place called Nine Bar by a few cops in plain uniform. Later, a controversial nightclub owner, who’s operating on government land, invited DJ Tamar to perform between 12 to 2 am. Eyewitnesses reveal that so sooner did the music start, six people overpowered him and beat him. “He was profusely bleeding. Then they put a gun on his crotch and threatened to kill him in an encounter if he disclosed the name of the person who put the minor girl in trouble. They then asked him to leave the state immediately. DJ Tomar left the state few days later.

Our sources also reveal that the drug lords and controversial cops have threatened the minor girl and her mother and asked them to maintain a stoic silence. No wonder, when GT/Weekender tried to meet them to get their side of the story, they refused to meet us.

The suitcases used for journey are brought from a shop in Panjim. An employee of the suitcase shop, married to a family in Siolim, buys the expensive branded suitcases ranging from Rs 5000 to 6000 and delivers it to a former Sarpanch of Anjuna, who stays near Starco. He and his workers use their expertise to put carbonized compartments in the suitcase. They then sell it to another person who stays at Monkey Valley for Rs 25,000. This person neatly packs the suitcase for Amir and he hands it over to the minor. It is very difficult to get an image of the goods stored in a carbonized compartment in an X-ray, until there is some error.

The drug mafia looks for minor victims on one major ground:

FOR A MAJOR: Penalties for possession of narcotic substances can be severe. There is a minimum sentence of six months for possession of small amounts for personal consumption only. However, a 10-year sentence for possession of other amounts applies. The slow judicial process means that lengthy pre-trial detention, usually of several years, is the norm.

FOR A MINOR: Under the Juvenile Justice Act, if the juvenile commits a bailable or non-bailable offence, the child shall be released on bail with or without surety. Further detention can only be in observation home and not in prison or police station. The bail provisions for young offenders are far more liberal than those applicable under the criminal procedure
(credits: Peter De Souza & Preetu Nair)
(Article appeared in GT Weekender, Panjim Edition, Goa)

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