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Exposed: Goa's murky drug world

Source: PTI
November 06, 2009 16:02 IST
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The statements made by witnesses in the Central Bureau of Investigation's chargesheet in the Scarlett Eden Keeling case has exposed the underbelly of drug cartel run in Goa through beach shacks.

The 300-page chargesheet, filed before a local court in Goa, has quoted Murli Sagar Bolloju, who was present at Lui Cafe shack where Scarlett spent her last day, stating that drugs are readily available in Anjuna beach village.

"Hashish, Charas, Cocaine, Ecstacy tablets, Catamine and Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) are available in Anjuna beach and can be purchased from the parking lot opposite Paradiso Club and Nine bar and restaurant," the statement said.

The witness also confirmed that the shack owners often ignore drug consumption in their outlets as otherwise they would lose the business.

"In most shacks, foreigners and Indians are used to Hash joints. No shack owner will stop a hash joint user. Sometimes he will also join the foreigners and have a puff," according to the statement recorded in the charge sheet.

British teenager Scarlett Eden Keeling was found dead at Anjuna on February 18, 2008.

The CBI had, last month, filed a chargesheet in this case. Two locals -- Samson DSouza and Placido Carvalho -- are named as the accused in this case. The waiter at Lui Caf, Chandru Chauhan, in his statement has named the shack owners, Luis and Mahanand, as bringing the drugs from "somewhere".

Chauhan said that Placido, who was known as 'shanaboy', used to bring Cocaine in big quantity.

"Whenever he was in the shack, he would keep it (Cocaine) below the plastic cloth on the table meant for chopping vegetables," he mentioned.

Scarlett's mother Fiona Mackeown, in the media campaign after her daughter's death, had called for the investigation of drug racket in the state that led to the death of her teenage daughter.

"The confirmation of the existence of a drug cartel is no revelation to my client," Vikram Varma, Fionas lawyer, said.

"Fiona had come to me for assistance primarily because Nerlon Albequerque (police sub inspector, who was investigating the case) had consistently tried to convince her and his superiors that this was a case of accidental drowning, but the local fishermen had informed her that Scarlett had been raped and murdered by the Drug Cartel existing on the beach belt," he said.

"They had also informed her that this drug cartel is very powerful and well connected," Varma said.

"But no drug cartel can stand up to the might of the state. I am confident that the current officers of the Goa Police under an informed Home Ministry, will take adequate action against this ugly menace of drugs which could destroy an entire generation," the lawyer said.

Goa police, who had earlier chargesheeted the same case, feels that the revelation in CBI chargesheet is nothing new.

"All these things were disclosed during Goa police chargesheet," Bosco George, Superintendent of Police (North), who investigated the case, said.

George added, "Police had raided various residences of the accused persons and suspects but could not find any drugs there."

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