Mayor in Goa arrested for trying to bribe Customs official

November 28th, 2008 - 12:54 am ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Nov 27 (IANS) Diwakar Pagi, mayor of a town in south Goa, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Thursday evening for trying to bribe a Customs official to release a drug peddler. Pagi, the mayor of Canacona Municipal Council, was arrested while trying to pay Rs.200,000 to a Customs superintendent. The official had complained to the CBI, following which a trap had been laid.

Pagi’s jurisdiction spreads over the popular coastal hangouts of Palolem and Agonda beach, which have emerged as one of the hotbeds for narcotics trade in south Goa. He is also said to be well connected with top Congress politicians from south Goa, including a former minister.

Sources said that Pagi had attempted to bribe the Customs official after one of his ’supporters’, Rajesh Dhuri, was nabbed by Customs officials earlier Thursday and a kilogram of hashish, valued at over Rs.100,000 in the international market, seized from him.

Commissioner of Customs, Goa, Chandrahaas Mathur confirmed the incident. “We had complained to the CBI who laid the trap,” Mathur told IANS.

Goa is seen as a vital cog in the country’s narcotics market, with the booming rave parties reported from the tourist state’s coast from October to February. Party drugs such as ecstasy and LSD are in great demand along with the more conventional hashish and ‘ganja’ (cannabis).

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