Panaji: CBI on Tuesday sought custody of the
Israeli drug lord Yaniv Benaim alias Atala who was brought
here from Peru last fortnight as he was not cooperating with
the investigating officer.
The Israeli national is a main link in drug
peddler-policemen-politician drug nexus, which was exposed
last year and remanded in judicial custody on August 27 after
being brought here.
Seeking custody of the Israeli fugitive, special public
prosecutor S R Rivonkar, representing CBI, said that the
custody of the accused is required to investigate the nexus.
In his submission before the Narcotics Drugs and
Psychotropic substances court (NDPS) here, Rivonkar said that
although Crime Branch, which was earlier investigating the
case, had exhausted the maximum police custody permissible for
the accused, CBI has filed a fresh case.
"We had no opportunity to interrogate the accused in
custody," he said adding that Crime Branch might not have
investigated the case properly given the prima facie
involvement of Goa police had surfaced.
Advocate S Dhond, representing Atala, however, opposed
the police custody stating that his client has been
cooperating with the investigating agency right from the time
he was picked up in Peru.
He said that the CBI was investigating the same case
which was filed by the Crime Branch with no separate FIR filed
and no additional sections added to it.
The court has fixed the matter for order on Wednesday
Atala, who was arrested in March, 2010 was released on
conditional bail in June, 2010. But he jumped the bail and
crossed the borders before being arrested by Interpol in Peru.