Goa`s drug trade could have Colombian links: CBI

Goa`s police-politician-drug nexus could also have a linkage in Colombia in South America, CBI officer said on Friday.

Panaji: Goa`s police-politician-drug nexus could also have a linkage in Colombia in South America, notorious for its drug running cartels, a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officer said on Friday.

CBI officials believe that the arrest of Israeli drug dealer Yaniv Benaim alias Atala, in a Peru with large sums of money - for a person on the run - could lead back to the shady drugs and narcotics cartels of Colombia`s capital Bogota.

"We found Atala with more than 1,000 euros and $3,500 in cash in Peru where he was arrested following a red corner notice," the officer said, seeking anonymity because of judicial proceedings against the Israeli, who is being tried here for being part of a nexus involving top politicians, policemen and some journalists.

"A lot of drug couriers, after collecting their stash in Colombia, use neighbouring countries like Peru, Equador or Bolivia to exit with the drugs," the officer said, drawing a parallel with Atala, who was arrested by the Peruvian authorities.

The officer said that baggage and cargo of passengers boarding planes from Colombia are invariably red-flagged by the officials of the country of destination, because of the increased possibility of drugs being ferried.

"Softer countries like Peru and Bolivia are relatively safer routes. Because Atala was caught in Peru, we are looking at a possible Colombia angle here," the official said.

Atala was arrested along with seven other police officials attached to the Goa Police`s anti narcotics wing, as part of a police-politician-drug mafia nexus two years back in which a senior Goa cabinet minister`s son has also been linked.

Atala later jumped bail and fled the country. He was caught in Peru earlier this year and sent back to India for trial.


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