White ants ‘ate’ 24 kg charas: Prosecution tells court

April 14th, 2010 - 5:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, April 14 (IANS) White ants ‘ate’ 24 kg charas (cannabis) from the official godown, the state prosecution department told the Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court, while opposing the bail of several Goa policemen charged with links to the narcotics mafia.
This was stated by the state prosecution to the court earlier this week.

Home Minister Ravi Naik Wednesday told reporters that heads of senior police officials would roll for their negligence in safe-keeping of drugs and narcotics seized during raids and later stored in the official godown.

“Even if white ants have destroyed the drugs, it should have been brought on record. You cannot have lethargy in cases like this,” Naik told reporters, a couple of days after government lawyers told the high court that about 24 kg out of the 280 kg of charas in the police storeroom was found unsealed and had been devoured by white ants (termite).

“Responsibility has to be fixed in this matter. All the police in-charges who headed the anti-narcotic cell (ANC) during the last decade will have to be probed thoroughly,” Naik said.

The home minister also said that his department would initiate a separate enquiry into how drugs seized by the ANC were pumped back into the narcotics market in the state’s popular coastal belt by police officials.

“The home department will now check the conduct of all the officers, including police sub-inspector Sunil Gudler who is holding the charge of the ANC at the moment. We have to get to the bottom of this,” Naik said.

Goa police are struggling to cope with the controversy after a spycam video uploaded on a social networking website showed an Israeli drug dealer Yaniv Benaim alias Atala boasting of his links to senior police officials of the Goa police, especially police inspector Ashish Shirodkar, a former head of the ANC.

The police had subsequently arrested Shirodkar and five other policemen under Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA).

Subsequent audit of the ANC storeroom showed that a large quantity of drugs was missing, suspected sold by the officials to drug dealers.

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