Fled India as I feared for life: Israeli drug lord

Last Updated: Friday, August 26, 2011 - 21:43

Panaji: Hours after being extradited from
Peru, Israeli drug lord Yaniv Benaim alias Atala Friday told a Goa court that he had fled from India as he feared for his life.

CBI today produced the fugitive, wanted in connection
with drug-nexus cases in Goa, before the Narcotics Drugs and
Psychotropic Substances Court (NDPS) that remanded him in 14
days judicial custody.

"People were following me after I got bail. I was told by
people that police will kill me. I had no other choice other
than to run away," Atala told the court.

Atala, a prime witness in the drug nexus case involving
policemen and kin of politicians exposed last year, said after
getting the bail, he was feeling paranoid and was even
admitted to the Institute of Psychiatric and Human Behaviour
(IPHB) because of depression.
"Even in IPHB I feared for my life," he said, seeking
bail.

NDPS Judge Nutan Sardesai told the accused that he should
approach the court if he feels any threat to his life and
should stop feeling paranoid.

The NDPS court had cancelled Atala`s bail earlier this
year after the Crime Branch, which was then investigating the
case, had submitted that he had fled and was unavailable.
Lucky Farmhouse, former girlfriend of Atala, had exposed
the nexus by shooting his alleged confession on a spy cam and
releasing it through a social networking website.

Seven policemen, all attached to Anti-Narcotic Cell (ANC)
were arrested after the expose. Atala had also surrendered to
the police after absconding for a couple of days.

He managed to get bail in April, last year but he jumped
it and went to Israel. In January this year, he was arrested
by Interpol at Peru airport while trying to cross into Israel.

PTI



First Published: Friday, August 26, 2011 - 21:43

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