‘Drug mafia only a rumour’: Goa CM Pramod Sawant
By Hindustantimes 24-Jul-2019
“There are only rumours and no confirmed knowledge of existence of ‘Drug Mafia’ in Goa. However, Goa being a tourist destination, narcotic drugs are being smuggled in for trade, consumption and transit.
“Mainly ganja and charas are sold in Goa. Some people are bringing from neighbouring states. But the suppliers who bring in big quantity are yet to be identified but we are very serious about the issue,” Sawant said.
The chief minister was cornered by the opposition, with Panaji MLA Atanasio Monserrate alleging that the police in the capital city were “hand in glove” with the peddlers.
“I am making a direct allegation that the police are hand in glove with them. Small children are selling drugs. If the mayor can find so much drugs what are the police doing? That means police are inefficient,” Monserrate said referring to a recent anti- encroachment drive on some hutments, when the Corporation of the city of Panaji found 43 packets of marijuana.
The number of cases of drug peddling and possession in Goa has consistently grown over the years. Fifty four cases were registered in 2014, 61 cases in 2015, 60 cases in 2016, 168 cases in 2017, 222 cases in 2018 and 114 cases in 2019 up to June 30.
Sawant said that the drug dealers involved in narcotic activities operate in clandestine and organised manner and often use local youth to ferry small quantities of drugs in exchange for a payment and that these conduits end up getting caught.
“The information about narcotic activities is collected through sources and raids are conducted and the perpetrators of these crimes are arrested.
It is not only foreigners. Goan youth are also involved. And if you check the age group, it is the youth between the age group of 20 to 35 who are involved. Parents should also take a little responsibility for what their children are up to,” Sawant said.
Earlier, Kamat said that the common impression in the state was that only foreigners were involved in the drug trade but instead it was more locals who were involved. “Drugs will wipe out an entire generation,” he said.
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