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Two Russians languishing in Goa jail without chargesheet

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 18:58

Panaji: Two Russian tourists have
remained in jail here without any charge-sheet filed for over
a year now as state police have failed to forensically test
the suspected drugs seized from them, Police sources said.

Victor Koplenko and V Korovael, arrested in 2009 under
the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Act are lodged in
Aguada jail waiting for the prosecution, sources stated.

Even intervention by the Consul General of Russian
Federation in Mumbai asking state chief minister Digamber
Kamat `to expedite the investigation’ has borne no fruits.

Koplenko was arrested on February 17, 2009 from
Pernem (North Goa) while Korovael was reportedly found
carrying drugs in the same district on May 6, 2009. Both the
cases were registered by the Anti Narcotic Cell.

"Up to now, police have not provided us with the
results of chemical analysis of the drugs possessed by
them (tourists). Due to lack of scientific support or other
reasons, police have been unable to conclude on these
matters," the consulate had written to Chief Minister in
December last year.

The then Superintendent of Police (Foreigners’ Branch)
Bosco George informed the Russian consulate on May 4, 2009
that the suspected cocaine has been forwarded to laboratory
for forensic examination.

Current Superintendent of Police (Foreigners` Branch)
Tony Fernandes said he is yet to go through the communication
made by his predecessor on the matter.

"We will inform the investigating authorities concerned
once we get the results," he said today.

Koplenko, alleging foul play, had claimed to the
consulate that three plain-cloth Indians (police) knocked at
his door on the fateful day and when he opened the door, they
rushed into the apartment, searched it and by force took away
his passport, mobile, hundred dollars in cash and medicine,
which was stored in the refrigerator.

The accused in his submission before the consulate has
contended that the "intruders" did not even produce any
documents. He stated that he has a valid prescription from a
dentist to justify purchase of the medicine.

Interestingly, the ANC records maintain that Koplenko
was arrested for possessing 225 grams of Cocaine.

Similarly, another Russian, Korovael was arrested with
20 grams of banned MDM substance.

Vikram Varma, counsel for the Russian Federation said
"there should be chemical analysis of the substances so that
the fact is established.

"If they are innocent, then their human rights should
not be violated," he added.


First Published: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 18:58

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