Scarlett case exposes drug cartel in Goa

Shack owners often ignore consumption of narcotics in their outlets

 
Scarlett Keeling who was found dead on a beach in Goa in February last year. ReutersThe 300-page charge sheet filed before a local court in Goa has quoted Murli Sagar Bolloju, who was present at Lui Cafe shack, where Scarlett spent her last day, stating that drugs are readily available in Anjuna beach village.

“Hashish, charas, cocaine, Ecstacy tablets, catamine and LSD are available at the Anjuna beach and can be purchased from the parking lot opposite Paradiso Club and Nine bar and restaurant,” the statement said.

The witness has also confirmed that the shack owners often ignored drug consumption in their outlets as otherwise they would lose business.

“In most shacks, foreigners and Indians are used to hash joints. No shack owner will stop a hash joint user. Sometimes he will also join the foreigners and have a puff,” according to the statement recorded in the charge sheet.

British teenager Scarlett Eden Keeling was found dead at Anjuna on February 18, 2008. The CBI, last month, had filed a charge sheet in the case.

Accused

Two locals — Samson D’Souza and Placido Carvalho — are named accused in this case.

The waiter at Lui Café, Chandru Chauhan, in his statement has named the shack owners, Luis and Mahanand, as procuring the drugs from “somewhere”.

Chauhan said Placido, who was known as ‘shanaboy’, used to bring cocaine in big quantities.

“Whenever he was in the shack, he would keep it (cocaine) beneath the plastic sheet on the table meant for chopping vegetables,” he said.

Scarlett’s mother Fiona Mackeown, in the media campaign after her daughter’s death, had called for the investigation of the drug racket in the state that led to the death of her daughter.

“The confirmation of the existence of a drug cartel is no revelation to my client,” Vikram Varma, Fiona’s lawyer, said.

“Fiona had come to me for assistance primarily because Nerlon Albequerque (police sub-inspector who was investigating the case) had consistently tried to convince her and his superiors that this was a case of accidental drowning, but the local fishermen had informed her that Scarlett had been raped and murdered by the drug cartel existing on the beach belt,” he said.

“They had also informed her that the drug cartel was very powerful and well connected,” Varma said.

“But no drug cartel can stand up to the might of the state. I am confident that the current officers of the Goa police under an informed home ministry will take adequate action against this ugly menace of drugs which could destroy an entire generation,” the lawyer said.

Nothing new

Goa police, who had earlier charge sheeted the same case, feel that the revelation in CBI charge sheet is nothing new.

“All these things were disclosed in the Goa police charge sheet,” Superintendent of Police (North), Bosco George, who investigated the case, said.

George said the “police had raided various residences of the accused persons and suspects but could not find any drugs there,” he added.

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