In a very shocking allegation, that casts a long, dark shadow on the credibility of the Goa Police, a former senior NCB official of the Goa unit of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) revealed to IndiaScoops.com, that senior Goa police officials and the local unit of the anti-narcotics cell (ANC) of the Goa police were fully aware of a ‘chemical factory’ being operated on the property owned by Goa BJP leader Vasudev Parab, but turned a blind eye to it as it was owned by the State’s senior-most and most influential BJP leader.
“Not just Parab, but other Goa politicians and their family members or relatives have their allotted plots and premises rented out at huge premiums to North Indians who carry on unidentified businesses and production activity at the venues. Nobody checks what is being produced or manufactured at the unit or even dares to ask any questions,” the NCB official revealed, adding that on two occasions he had recommended that all such ‘chemical factories’ must be checked out but his suggestion was shot down.
The DRI raid has revealed that impure or intermediate ketamine slurry was produced at the factory Jai Vijay Industries at Panvel and sent to to the Goa factory for purification. The UK nationals Jonathan Thorn and Barry Bracken, Nguyen Cuong, a qualified chemist from Vietnam; along with one Sarpreet Singh ran the Goa part of the ketamine slurry purification operation. The purified ketamine was then transported to Gujarat where it shipped abroad.
The NCB official who was earlier based in Goa, was transferred out of Goa to the Mumbai regional office of the NCB after he tried to investigate certain illegal activities going on along the coastal stretch of North Goa. “There was tremendous political pressure. We were always aware that there was something fishy going on there. Even the local Goa FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) was tipped off, but no one took action. Every time we tried to do something and asked for police backup, the culprits were immediately tipped and when the raiding party landed at the venue, there was nothing to be found. The drug industry in Goa a very big racket that involves top police officials, senior politicians, NCB, ANC, IAS, everyone is involved and everyone gets a packet every month to keep their mouth shut. Parab’s factory was licensed to manufacture iron grills and do welding work. But everyone knew there was a chemical factory there. What exactly was being manufactured may not be known, but the fact that chemicals were being transported to and fro was known to several persons including the Goa Police, NCB, ANC and even the FDA. According to media reports, the Goa FDA now claims they were not aware of any ‘chemical unit’ at the premises, which is not correct. More than one department was tipped about the illegal ‘chemical factory’. Why none of these departments ever raided the place is anybody’s guess,” he told IndiaScoops.com.
“There are many such small, obscure units in Goa run by non-Goans on properties owned by Goan politicians, manufacturing chemicals. We were told it was toilet cleaners and pesticides for home and industrial use. Nobody dared check out the premises or test the chemicals,” the former Goa NCB official revealed
In a three-day operation code-named “Operation Vitamin”, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) busted an international drug manufacturing and distribution syndicate and seized 308 kg ketamine and a huge quantity of raw material from various sites in Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat and arrested 10 persons including two British nationals and one from Vietnam.
“This pan-India network was controlled by an international drug syndicate. In all, about 308 kg of ketamine has been seized by DRI along with 2,000 kg of raw material enough to manufacture another 250 kg. The significance of this seizure can be gauged from the fact that all-India seizure of ketamine during the calendar year 2016 was 68.06 kg only,” the DRI statement said. The total value of the seized consignment is estimated to be in the range of Rs 35-40 crore.
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.
Meanwhile, alleging that the industrial unit, which was raided for illegally manufacturing ketamine was being operated by a BJP functionary, the Congress on Wednesday demanded an investigation into the entire episode. Congress leaders met director general of police Muktesh Chander and urged him to take action against drug traffickers and those involved in protecting drug dealers.
A day earlier, the directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) raided an industrial unit in Pissurlem and seized around a huge consignment of ketamine, a party drug. “We plead with the government to investigate accurately, look into the matter, find the whereabouts of the people involved and take immediate action,” Curtorim MLA Alexio Reginaldo Lourenco said.
Congress party workers along with Lourenco, Tivim MLA Nilkanth Halarnkar and St.Cruz MLA Tony Fernandes were part of the delegation that met the DGP in his office to submit a memorandum seeking an urgent crackdown on drugs. On Tuesday, as details about the raid began to trickle in, state Congress chief Girish Chodankar said that the owner of the factory was a party member of the BJP and that the BJP was trying to shield him.
“The seizure has clearly exposed his nexus with the drug lobby in the state which has percolated down to the villages from its traditional bastion of the tourism-prone coastline,” Chodankar said.
He also alleged that the incident had exposed the nexus between BJP politicians, police and drug peddlers which was proved by the fact that the DRI had kept the local police officials in the dark about the raid.
“This reflects badly on the state police who have been only making drug peddlers scapegoats, while letting the big dealers continue with their trade of spreading venom,” Chodankar said.