December too ‘hectic’ for anti-drug raids: Goa policeJanuary 10th, 2010 - 9:32 pm ICT by IANS
Panaji, Jan 10 (IANS) The Goa police, under pressure for their failure to check rampant sale of drugs in the state, Sunday blamed a ‘hectic’ December for not being able to check drug trade in north Goa.
Addressing a press conference at the district headquarters near Panaji to announce late Saturday night’s four anti-narcotics raids late, Superintendent of Police (SP) Bosco George said Sunday that considering the number of activities which are held in Goa during the last month of the year, it was virtually impossible to spare police personnel for drug raids.
“I wanted to conduct raids in December. But there were so many things happening, including the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), assembly session and the last week’s celebrations for Christmas and New Year, it was impossible,” George said, adding that the four separate raids were conducted late Saturday night, “the moment the police got a breather”.
The four raids netted six foreigners — three Israelis, one person each from the Netherlands, Sweden and Nepal — and arrested them for possession of small quantities of drugs, from charas to LSD to MDMA, all worth Rs.1.83 lakh.
Nearly all raids were conducted in the North Goa district, at popular beaches, namely Morjim, Anjuna and one at Parra, near the popular tourism hub of Calangute.
Those arrested have been identified as Mathan Juler (the Netherlands), Sakhuram Tamong (Nepal), Virkunnen Petteri (Sweden) and Ezra Natalie, Hajaj Maor, Koren Elad (Israel).
Tamong, 20, was arrested with powder and capsules of MDMA, a synthetic drug worth Rs.58,000, a short distance from where British teenager Scarlett Keeling’s body was found. Keeling was allegedly raped and murdered after being administered a narcotics cocktail at Anjuna Beach two years ago.
George said the raids were conducted during the random checks on shacks along the north Goa beaches, which were on the police radar.
The Goa police have been severely criticized recently by the opposition and the local media, especially after the death of Bangalore’s 23-year-old Meha Bahuguna, who died of suspected drug overdose at the Sunburn music festival held here in the last week of December.
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