Drug trade may increase during tourist season: Goa police


Panaji : Weeks after Goa Home Minister Ravi Naik consistently denied the sale of drugs in the state, a senior police official has admitted that there could be a possible increase in the narcotics trade and rave parties during the forthcoming tourist season.

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The official said that Russians, Africans and Indians too were involved in the drug trade. Superintendent of Police (CID) Atmaram Deshpande said Tuesday that police were taking precautions to combat the narcotics mafia in the state.

“Now that the season is starting and tourists have started arriving, those in the drug trade will be gearing up. It is their job to get the drugs and it is our job to break the nexus,” Deshpande said.

“There are several ways through which drugs are brought into Goa. There are the unorganised channels and the organised channel,” he said, hinting at the existence of a drug mafia in the state, which provides an organised framework for the narcotics industry to function.

Deshpande admitted that ketamine — a scheduled drug used as a substitute for marijuana — was easily available at chemists’ shops across the state.

“If ketamine is in demand, it must be selling,” he said. Deshpande also said that rave parties were now organised in Goa using Wi-Fi systems, where Wi-Fi enabled headphones were given to ravers by the organisers, in order to circumvent the noise pollution norms.

“I have been to such rave parties some time back, in Arambol and Morjim which are popular beaches in north Goa, about 35 km from Panaji, where such wireless equipment was used. But we can still stop them if they are organised in public areas like a beach,” he said.

Deshpande advises vigilant residents to call the police control room number 100, instead of calling individual police officials who “may conveniently forget” to act in such matters.

The Goa Police has been notorious for turning a blind eye to drug-laced rave parties which are held along the north Goa coast, at popular beaches like Arambol, Morjim, Ashwem, Anjuna etc.

Deshpande’s admission is in contrast to recent statements made by Home Minister Ravi Naik. According to Naik, no rave parties are held in Goa, nor are drugs sold in the state.