Panaji: A senior Goa police intelligence official has publicly admitted that the state is emerging as a den for the organized sex mafia and the local police are often hand-in-glove with the criminals.
Superintendent of Police (Criminal Investigation Department) Atmaram Deshpande, who is the nodal officer for all police intelligence networks in the state, wrote in his weekly column in a vernacular daily `Gomantak` Thursday: "There is a disturbing increase in number of instances where massage parlours and beauty salons are being used for prostitution. People are getting restive."
Deshpande`s admission comes a day after the Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) president Cesar Menezes in a sternly worded pre-budget note to Chief Minister Digambar Kamat said that "tourism in Goa of late is getting a bad name with Goa slowly emerging as a drug and sex destination".
Deshpande in his article has also taken a subtle dig at his police top brass that had sanctioned a Russian belly dance performance during the inauguration of a coastal police station in Anjuna last year.
"There is an increase in bar dancers, foreign (belly) dancers and escort services professionals coming in to Goa. There is an urgent need for these to be stamped out, before they flourish here," Deshpande said.
The official also said that local police stations were often hand-in-glove with the organized sex crime mafia.
"The police have to keep an eye on massage parlours and beauty parlours. But sometimes the local police turn a blind eye to these issues and then the crime branch is forced to bust these operations," Deshpande said.
Deshpande said that Goa, a major tourism destination in India, is also emerging as a centre for trafficking and high profile prostitution.
"Over the last one or two years, young Goan women too have been getting involved in the business of prostitution. That is a worry. Since this (high profile prostitution) is an easy way to get into the world of fashion and the hotel industry, a lot of women from India and abroad are flocking to Goa," Deshpande has said.
Goa receives nearly 2 million tourists annually, of which nearly half a million are foreign nationals.