Drug nexus case: Atala to reach Goa by next week



Panaji: Israeli drug lord Yaniv Benaim alias Atala, who will be brought from Peru, is expected to reach Goa on August 21 or a day after, a top CBI official said on Thursday.

A CBI team has already left from Goa to take the custody of the fugitive, who is a prime link in the policemen-drug peddler nexus case.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Pravin Salunke said the team will reach Peru tonight and immediately begin the formalities to take the custody of Atala.

"Atala would be brought to Goa on August 21 or August 22," he said.

CBI has taken a warrant against Atala from Goa court. "He (Atala) would be produced before the court for the remand," Salunke said adding that Atala's interrogation would be entirely dependent on the Court order.

The probe agency has also made elaborate arrangements to transport Atala from airport to court and further.

"CBI is strong enough to take care of the security measures. If required, we will take help of Goa police," Salunke said.

Atala is an important witness in the policemen-drug peddler nexus case, which was exposed last year by his former girlfriend Lucky Farmhouse.

Seven policemen were arrested for their nexus with the drug lobby operating on the coastal belt. Atala who was arrested last year in March 2010 after the media expose was granted bail in the June, which he jumped in August.

Goa Home Minister Ravi Naik's son Roy's name also came under scanner during the investigation of drug nexus.

Farmhouse had claimed that Roy was frequent visitor to their place and was providing them drugs.

The Goa bench of the Bombay High Court through an order, had handed over the investigations to CBI after Congress-led students' organisation, Nationalist Students Union of India (NSUI), filed a petition against shoddy probe by the crime branch.

PTI