Goa police issued lookout notice against Atala after 18 days

Goa police today said a look out notice against Israeli drug peddler Yaniv Benaim alias Atala, who remains untraced since August 7, was issued against him only after 18 days.

Updated: Aug 26, 2010, 00:58 AM IST

Panaji: Goa police today said a look out
notice against Israeli drug peddler Yaniv Benaim alias Atala,
who remains untraced since August 7, was issued against him
only after 18 days.

Atala was found to be missing on August 7 by the crime
branch which had summoned him for some clarification. "A look
out circular was issued on August 25," Goa Police spokesman
Atmaram Deshpande said.

The statement comes a day after Goa BJP alleged that the
state police had let Atala go missing in a bid to cover up in
the drug peddler-police nexus case.

He, however, said the investigating agency is not at
fault as "they may be trying to trace him all this time.

"It is quiet possible that investigating officer was
making an attempt to trace him," Deshpande said to a query.

The BJP had yesterday told reporters that police
officers, including the Director General of Police, had let
the drug peddler jump the bail.

Atala, an important link in policemen-drug peddler nexus,
was arrested on March 10, 2010 under Narcotics Drugs and
Psychotropic Substances Act and Prevention of Corruption Act.

He was released on conditional bail on June 21, 2010 by
NDPS court.

Deshpande said all attempts were being made to trace him
and police have already written to the NDPS court for
cancellation of his bail.

After initial denial, police today said "Atala is
absconding and has jumped the bail which is a very serious
offence."

"We have launched a full fledged search operation and all
those who were in touch with him are being quizzed," Deshpande
said.

Seven policemen were suspended after Swedish Model Lucky
Farmhouse, Atala`s former girlfriend, uploaded a video on a
social networking website which showed the drug peddler
bragging about his contacts with the police.

-PTI