Fled India as I feared for life, says Israeli drug lord Atala

CBI today produced the fugitive, wanted in connection with drug-nexus cases in Goa, before the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Court (NDPS) that remanded him in 14 days judicial custody.

"People were following me after I got bail. I was told by people that police will kill me. I had no other choice other than to run away," Atala told the court.

Atala, a prime witness in the drug nexus case involving policemen and kin of politicians exposed last year, said after getting the bail, he was feeling paranoid and was even admitted to the Institute of Psychiatric and Human Behaviour (IPHB) because of depression.

"Even in IPHB I feared for my life," he said, seeking bail.

NDPS Judge Nutan Sardesai told the accused that he should approach the court if he feels any threat to his life and should stop feeling paranoid.

The NDPS court had cancelled Atala's bail earlier this year after the Crime Branch, which was then investigating the case, had submitted that he had fled and was unavailable.

Lucky Farmhouse, former girlfriend of Atala, had exposed the nexus by shooting his alleged confession on a spy cam and releasing it through a social networking website.

Seven policemen, all attached to Anti-Narcotic Cell (ANC) were arrested after the expose.

Atala had also surrendered to the police after absconding for a couple of days.

He managed to get bail in April, last year but he jumped it and went to Israel. In January this year, he was arrested by Interpol at Peru airport while trying to cross into Israel.

"I went to Peru like a tourist," Atala told the court when asked whether he was carrying relevant documents like passport and visa in that country.

He said he was in jail for nine months and was taken into custody by the CBI when the entire procedure to let him off was completed.

CBI's special prosecutor S R Rivonkar and M R B Babu told the court that he was brought to India through extradition proceedings and demanded his custody for further investigation into the case.

Atala was brought from Peru to Delhi and later to Mumbai from where he was shifted to Goa, this morning, almost a year after he fled the country.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get the top news in your inbox
Comments (+)