`Party bills of Goa cops paid by drug dealer`

The Goa bench of Bombay High court was informed that policemen of Anti Narcotic Cell and Anjuna police station frequently partied in a local restaurant and their bills were reportedly paid by a drug dealer.

Last Updated: Jun 04, 2010, 20:39 PM IST

Panaji: The Goa bench of Bombay High court was informed that policemen of Anti Narcotic Cell and Anjuna police station frequently partied in a local restaurant and their bills were reportedly paid by a drug dealer.

The state police records, which were placed before the court this week, contain statements of the owner of one Atiopa Bar and Restaurant.

"Police inspector Ashish Shirodkar and another constable, arrested for nexus with drug peddler, and those from Anjuna police station used to come at Atiopa, have food, and their bills were paid by a boy being sent by arrested Israeli drug dealer Yaniv Benaim alias Atala. The boy worked for a cyber cafe run by Atala," the order states.

Seven policemen, including Shirodkar, were arrested after their links with Israeli drug dealers Atala and David Driham alias Dudu was exposed through a video shot on spy cam by Atala`s former girlfriend Lucky Farmhouse.

The Court, which received the investigation details during the hearing on a bail petition filed by Shirodkar, has observed that police had failed to take statement of the boy working in Atala`s cyber cafe.

"When it was pointed out that the statement of the boy was not recorded, Public Prosecutor submitted that his statement would be recorded in the course of time," Justice N A Britto observed in his order on Wednesday.

"The investigations are going on for a considerable length of time and the statement of the said boy could have been recorded by now," he said.

The FIR in the case was filed on March 5, 2010. "I do not think that there is anyone in the state of Goa who is not prepared to believe that drugs are available in the market because of police, politician and drug peddler nexus," the judge observed.

"Only persons who are connected with the said three classes, may protest such a statement. The statement cannot be easily proved is a different matter but the state is expected in the course of investigations to collect sufficient material by direct or circumstantial evidence to prove the same," the court ruled.

The policemen-drug peddler nexus came to light after video showed Atala claiming that Shirodkar was providing him drugs that were seized during various ANC raids.

Police department received another evidence when Dudu was arrested. During his interrogation, Dudu had named the police officers who were on his pay roll. The dealer had also named a journalist, who was fixed by ANC, not to write against him.

-PTI