Panaji, June 23 (Calcutta Tube) Israeli Yaniv Benaim alias Atala, an alleged drug dealer, Wednesday admitted to using drugs but said he was never involved in selling them.
Speaking to reporters on his release from judicial custody on conditional bail, Atala said that the media had been defaming him ‘in order to sell their newspapers’.
According to police, he is a major drug dealer in Goa with links to several policemen.
Atala, who was arrested after his ex-girlfriend and Swedish model Lucky Farmhouse uploaded videos which show him boasting of his links to police and politicians, also called the videos uploaded on www.youtube.com ‘a joke’.
‘I just used to take drugs like any other tourist. I am not a drug dealer like the police have been calling me,’ Atala told reporters.
He, however, refused to comment on his relationship with seven policemen who were suspended from service and arrested for their links to Atala and another Israeli drug dealer David Driham alias Dudu.
Atala also said: ‘No politician was involved in drug trade in Goa.’
Farmhouse, in interviews to reporters, had earlier maintained that Atala was linked to a Goa cabinet minister’s son who deals in drugs. ‘I don’t know any politician’s son,’ Atala said.