In a shocking disclosure, it has come to light that the same shed on the plot owned by Goa BJP General Secretary Vasudev Parab where 100 kgs of ketamine worth Rs 4-5 crore was seized by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) was earlier used to store BJP old/used and unused party promotional material like flags, pole banners etc., used during election promotion and campaigning work. Several North Goa BJP workers are aware of this fact and there is no way Parab can deny it, our source told us.
The Goa unit of the Congress has alleged that all the people concerned including the CM Manohar Parrikar, the DRI, the GIDC and the entire Goa government machinery is right now defending, shielding and protecting Parab, which is a big shame and a slap on the face of the common man in Goa.
Shed used to store BJP material
A senior leader in the Goa BJP unit (who is not in good terms with Parab) who spoke to IndiaScoops.com on condition of anonymity revealed that there is no way Parab did not have a hint of what was going on. They had used the same shed/plot to store old flags, pole banners, cloth banners and hoarding banners, light pole flags and other promotional party material used during election campaigning. If not Parab himself, other party workers or people working with Parab would have definitely visited the location several times in the last 3-6 months and they would be surely aware that some chemicals were being brewed and stored on the premises.
Some BJP party workers are very upset with the entire episode but cannot voice their opinions publicly for obvious reasons. In his greed for money, Parab has brought a bad name to the entire Goa unit of the BJP. Now the entire State alleges the Goa BJP unit is run on drug money, the leader said.
Goa BJP defends Vasudev Parab
Meanwhile the Goa BJP unit went out of its way to defend Parab. It said Vasudev Parab, holder of a government-allotted industrial plot where a Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) raid unearthed a ketamine manufacturing racket, was not at all involved in its trade.
“Parab does not have one per cent, even 0.1 per cent involvement in it. He has not committed a crime. The only crime he has committed is that he had put the plot on rent without informing the IDC (Industrial Development Corporation). This is his only crime. We have full faith in Vasudev Parab, that he is not involved in such things and he will not be involved in such things in the future,” state Bharatiya Janata Party President Vinay Tendulkar said on Tuesday.
Mr Tendulkar’s remarks comes two days after Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar ruled out a state government probe into the ketamine or date-rape drug manufacturing racket, which DRI has claimed as one of the biggest ever raids on drug manufacturing operations, which the enforcement agency has ever undertaken.
GIDC show causes Vasudev Parab
On another front the Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) issued a show cause notice to Vasudev Parab. Goan lawmaker Glenn Ticlo, chairman of GIDC confirmed to India Today that a notice has been issued to Parab, asking him to show cause why his industrial plot should not be taken back. Parab has been given seven days to reply to the notice. However, civil society and Congress leaders in Goa alleged that the GIDC and the Goa government is going slow on Parab. The IDC rules are very clear. In such instances where there is gross misuse of the leased premises and flouting of the contract, the plot can be directly taken back or seized and all the red tape can be done away with, a Congress politician said.
Parab did not disclose Rs 75,000 monthly rent income in IT returns
India Today tried to get in touch with Parab, but he avoided meeting and only spoke on phone. “I had a fabrication business at the place The business was not making any profit. A tourist driver approached me, saying that a Canadian fellow required my place on rent. I spoke to some experts and asked whether I can lease out the place on rent, but I was told it is not allowed. So I gave it on an oral lease,” Parab told India Today.
Parab received a monthly rent of Rs 75,000 and told India Today that he never mentioned the sum in his Income Tax returns. However, despite Parab’s denial, it is difficult to fathom how he was unaware of a drug business of such huge proportions running from his property.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) last week had busted a major drug-manufacturing and smuggling racket spread across Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa, seized contraband worth Rs 35 crore and arrested several gang members. Over 10 persons were arrested and several more are wanted by the DRI across the country and abroad.
The total value of drugs including ketamine seized in the Goa raid is in the range of Rs 4-5 crore, while the DRI estimates that the total value of drugs seized in raids across 3 States is in the range of Rs 35 to 40 crore totally, depending on the purity of the consignments seized.
Acting on specific inputs, the DRI officials in Mumbai recently raided a flat in Jogeshwari, various other places in Goa, Baroda, Bhiwandi and a factory in Rasaini, Panvel.
Over 310 kg of ketamine, cocaine, hashish and opium — estimated to be worth Rs 35 to 40 crore in total — were recovered during these searches.
The racket is said to be highly professional with regard to manufacture of some drugs like ketamine, also known as a Date Rape drug and classified as a psychotropic substance under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
To avoid getting caught easily, the accused would only manufacture ketamine-intermediate (formed one stage before pure ketamine and not covered under the NDPS Act) before packing it off for distribution.
“This was to ensure that if the law enforcement agency catches them with ketamine-intermediate, they would not attract any action,” a source from the DRI said, requesting anonymity.
But ketamine-intermediate can be only used to manufacture ketamine and nothing else. This drug was meant to be exported to some African countries and Canada, the source added.
Further background checks revealed that Shedge was previously arrested by the DRI in 2009 with alprazolam (a sleep-inducing drug), and by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in 2012 in connection with a ketamine case.
The probe revealed that Rahul Shedge – the main accused would manufacture ketamine at his factories in Rasaini on the instruction of his associate who also provided the raw material.
On June 6, Shedge delivered 30kg of ketamine-intermediate to Anthony Paul’s New Panvel residence through an employee. Paul, during the investigation, revealed that he and Shedge have a mutual friend who acts as an intermediary and collects money through angadias.
The other suspect, Akshinder Sodhi is said to be drug supplier with many clients in Mumbai. The DRI seized 140g of cocaine, 220g of crystallised ketamine and 33kg of powdered ketamine from his premises.
The DRI also suspects the involvement of several other foreign nationals in this drug racket.
According to a Hindustan Times report, the ketamine manufacturing racket was run by a Chemistry topper and a UK national, and manufactured drugs were stored at hideouts in Jogeshwari, Panvel, Bhiwandi and Goa. The main accused, Rahul Shedge, a topper in chemistry, had been earlier arrested under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotrophic Substance (NDPS) Act in 2009 and 2012. Upon his release from jail, he continued the racket by manufacturing the contraband at Rasaini in Panvel under the banner of a chemical factory.
In Goa, the plot where the factory was based was owned and run by a top BJP functionary Vasudev Parab (Read Here) and several attempts were made to hush up the matter, opposition parties have claimed. Knowing the importance of the operation, the DRI did not even inform the local police or the local Anti Narcotics cell fearing a tip off. However, no arrests were made in the Goa raid, under pressure from local politicians, claimed a senior Congress leader, adding that great pressure was brought upon the raiding DRI team including calls from senior Delhi politicians to let go the workers caught red-handed at the factory.
Opposition parties had to rush to the media and make several calls all over to ensure that the Goa raid was not hushed up and “settled”. It is only after media persons landed at the illegal factory at Pissurlem Industrial Estate, located 60 km from Panaji in Sattari taluka of North Goa district, that DRI officials began to act, allege opposition leaders.
According to a report in local Goa newspaper Herald, the factory belongs to Vasudev Parab general secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) North Goa. Vasudev Parab is one of the BJP’s oldest, most influential and senior-most workers in Goa.
The value of the raw ketamine seized in the Goa raid is approximately Rs 4-4.5 crore. Parab told Herald he had no knowledge of the ketamine stored in his factory. After interrogations, the DRI arrested 3 youth who were working as loaders in the factory while all the top shots were let off.
Sources said that following a specific tip-off, the DRI’s Mumbai zone unit raided a flat in Oberoi Splendor at Jogeshwari on Monday and seized 33 kgs of brown colour powder suspected to be ketamine. As the field testing kit indicated presence of ketamine in the papers, DRI officials arrested Akshinder Singh Sodhi, a native of Jalander who had taken the flat on rent and was allegedly supplying the drugs in Andheri and Oshiwara areas.
“His interrogations led to Shedge and Anthony Paul, a UK national, and Jai Vijay Industries in Rasaini where the contraband was manufactured. We then raided the factory,” said a source. Based on further information gathered during the investigation, the DRI than also raided a few places in Goa. (Read Here)
In all, the DRI seized 279 kg Ketamine, 140 grams of cocaine, 1.5 kg opium and 7.8 kg of hashish, totally approximately worth Rs 27 crore. Shedge and Paul have also been arrested.