Israeli drug dealer arrested in Goa

Panaji, March 9 (IANS) An Israeli drug dealer, who was captured on spy camera speaking about his links to the Anti-Narcotics Cell of the police, surrendered to Goa police Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

Atala, alias Yaniv Behahim, a drug dealer operating in north Goa, was caught on spy camera and his remarks had triggered the suspension of five policemen, including a senior police inspector, last week.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Ravinder Singh Yadav told reporters Tuesday evening that Atala was arrested under Section 41 of the Criminal procedure code.

‘We have not interrogated him yet. He has been arrested by the district police and will then be handed over to the Crime Branch,’ Yadav said.

Yadav said that Atala was residing in a guest house in the beach village of Morjim, 25 km from here.

A police officer said Atala, who entered India illegally after being deported from India sometime back, surrendered to the police in the coastal region of Pernem.

‘His arrest will help us crackdown on the police officers who are in collusion with the narcotics mafia in Goa,’ a police officer said.

Atala was earlier arrested in a Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) case in 2006 and was subsequently deported.

In the spy camera video, which was uploaded on www.youtube.com, Atala tells an unidentified person that several police officers in the Goa police were on his ‘take’.

Atala also said he would source drugs from the ANC officers who would steal it for him from a magistrate’s custody.

The Goa police has been rocked by charges of collusion of its officials with the narcotics mafia in Goa. While five policemen have been already suspended for their links to Atala, a Goa-based superintendent of police’s brother is being probed for his links to the illegal drug trade.

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