GOA : 400% increase in drug cases registered

goa drug abuse

PANAJI: Goa police registered a 400% increase in drug cases in 2017 as compared to 2016. Most cases were booked in the last five months, after chief minister Manohar Parrikar ordered a crackdown on the drug trade, which saw police book 161 cases under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) and arrest 172 drugs peddlers and dealers.

Anti narcotics cell (ANC) superintendent of police Umesh Gaonkar told TOI that the total drugs confiscated during the raids are worth Rs 2.84 crore. “The rise in drugs cases is because after the instruction of the chief minister, police stations across the state have started cracking down on drug cases,” he said.

Of 172 arrests, 60 are Goans, 79 are non-goans and 26 are foreigners. As per the ANC statistics of the last five years, among the foreign nationals arrested in the narcotics trade, 80% have been Nigerians. Goa police have seized ganja, methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), cocaine, charas, Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) liquid, LSD paper, herion, amphetamine, ketamine, Dimethyltryptamine (DMT).

Goankar said that synthetic drugs are imported by foreigners and mostly used during parties. “Synthetic drugs are sold in Goa during the peak tourist season when foreigners are in the state,” Gaonkar said. He also said that after analyzing the data ANC found that 30 foreigners who were arrested in drugs cases arrived in Goa through the international airport at Dabolim. “We had a meeting with the airport director along with other authorities to put some machines in place to arrest those foreigners who come to the state with drugs,” Gaonkar said.

The SP said that in the last five years they have arrested foreigners from Nigeria, South Africa, Israel, Russia, USA, Germany, Ghana, Sudan, United Kingdom, Nepal who have been involved in the drug trade. He added said that nongoan who are arrested for possession of narcotic substances usually come to Goa to work and earn more money by getting into the trade. “Non-Goans get drugs from Tamil Nadu, Himacha Pradesh, Odisha. Goans who are arrested are mostly addicts and get into the trade to earn more money,” Gaonkar said.

In August 2017 following the death of two youth who were suspected to have overdosed, chief minister Manohar Parrikar had directed Goa police to conduct a special drive to crack down on the drug trade in the state. Parrikar had also directed that rave parties in the state be put to an end.