Goa drug nexus: Arunachal police officer may be summoned

Thursday, January 20, 2011

PANAJI - Arunachal Pradesh police officer Veenu Bansal, responsible for the arrest of a notorious Israeli drug dealer in Goa last year, could be summoned in connection with the police-politician-drug mafia nexus case, police here said Thursday.

Superintendent of Police Atmaram Deshpande told reporters that Superintendent of Police Veenu Bansal, an Arunachal-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, could be questioned by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by Goa Police to probe the nexus.

High-level police officers and politicians, including the son of Goa Home Minister Ravi Naik, are reported involved in the case.

“Being an important person in this entire episode, I am sure Mr Bansal will be called by the SIT,” the Goa police spokesperson said.

Bansal headed the Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) of Goa and was principally responsible for the arrest of Israeli drug dealer David Driham alias Dudu last year. Till a few months ago, before he was transferred out of the Goa, Bansal, was the toast of Goa Police for ‘taking on’ the powerful Israeli drug mafia. He was later transferred to Arunachal Pradesh.

Dudus arrest by Bansal last year ruffled the feathers of the police and the political establishment here.

The IPS officers name, however, hit controversy after one of his subordinates in the Aanti-Naarcotics Cell, sub-inspector Sunil Guddler, was caught in a sting operation conducted by Dudus kin.

Guddlar claimed that he paid hafta (protection money) from drug peddlers to his superior officers. The sting operation footage was aired on local TV news channels a couple of weeks back.

Deshpande said the SIT may have already gotten in touch with Bansal about recording his statement for the case.

“It is quite possible that they (SIT) are looking into certain aspects. He will be summoned if necessary. Corroboration by concerned official is the only thing that remains, Deshpande said.

Deshpande said the arrests in the drug nexus case would only take place after an FIR is lodged. If there is no FIR, there is no case, he said.

Seven police officers have been arrested and released on bail. The Goa bench of the Bombay High Court had passed strictures against the crime branch for shoddy investigations into the nexus.

Former girlfriend of another Israeli drug dealer, Yaniv Benail alias Atala, has accused Home Minister Ravi Naiks son Roy of being linked to the drug mafia. Naik, however, has denied the charges.

–Indo Asian News Service

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