Israeli drug dealer sought by Goa Police held in Peru

Sunday, January 9, 2011

PANAJI - Israeli drug dealer Yaniv Benaim alias Atala, against whom an Interpol notice had been issued, has been arrested in Peru and the process to extradite him to India will begin soon, an officer said Sunday.

Atala, a drug dealer who jumped bail and fled from India, was arrested as part of the suspected police-politician-drug mafia nexus in Goa. He was linked to state Home Minister Ravi Naik’s son by the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Israeli’s former girlfriend.

Speaking to IANS, Deputy Inspector General of Police Ravindra Yadav said that the state police were intimated about his arrest Sunday. He was held in Lima in Peru Jan 7.

Now that he has been arrested, we will start the process for extraditing him, Yadav said.

Atala was arrested in the state in March 11, 2010 after videos showing him boasting of his links to police surfaced on social networking sites.

The incriminating videos posted by his former Swedish girlfriend Lucky Farmhouse, showed Atala dealing with police officers and smoking charas.

Lucky had also claimed that Atala had business links with Naik’s son Roy. The BJP accused Naik of derailing the probe because of the suspected involvement of his son.

Seven police officers were arrested for their links to Atala after initial police investigation. Atala mysteriously fled India a few weeks after he was released on bail by a local court.

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