ED files money laundering case against Goa drug dealer

Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday slapped money laundering charges against an alleged drug dealer based in Goa as it seized Rs 3.28 crore worth foreign currency from his premises during searches.

PTI| Updated: Jun 27, 2014, 23:05 PM IST

Panaji: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday slapped money laundering charges against an alleged drug dealer based in Goa as it seized Rs 3.28 crore worth foreign currency from his premises during searches.

An official statement from the agency identified the person as Norman Azavedo based in Sangolda in Bardez.

Agency sleuths carried out searches at his premises after the case was registered.

ED officials, the statement said, seized foreign currency like Great Britain Pound, USD and Euros equivalent to over Rs 3.28 crore in Indian Rupees from the residential premises of Azavedo.

Officials said Azavedo owns a pharmacy store in the Calangute beach area of Goa and a money laundering case was registered against him after local anti-narcotics department had booked him and his employee in a case of alleged drug trafficking last year.

This is one of the rare instances where the central probe agency has registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against illegal narcotics and drugs trade in the country.

During the searches, sources said, some documents related to assets owned by Azavedo were also seized even as the agency is planning to attach them under anti-money laundering laws.

Officials said Azavedo has earlier been arrested by the Customs authorities for allegedly indulging in illegal narcotics trade in the beach state.