Two foreigners - Freddy Peats and Eoghan Colm McBride - were on Saturday sentenced to seven years rigorous imprisonment each by Second Additional Sessions Judge Afonso Araujo in the district court in Panjim for running a child prostitution racket in Goa.
Peats is already undergoing a life imprisonment sentence since 1996 after the decade-long racket came to light in 1991.
Under the guise of running an orphanage called Gurukul in a village near Colva beach in south Goa, Peats was sexually exploiting destitute children and selling them to other paedophiles.
The Goa police's lackadaisical attitude was exposed when one of the accused French man Dominique Sabire jumped bail and fled the country in 2000 after being arrested in Delhi in 1996.
If this was an aberration, the disappearance of another paedophile German national Brinkman Helmut, who was arrested in yet another case after an NGO compelled the police to act, left no doubt about the local police's reluctance to book paedophiles.
The case was handed over to the CBI by the high court after Mumbai-based child rights activist Sheela Barse complained that the Goa police were not serious about pursuing the case.
Subsequently, the CBI chargesheeted altogether seven foreigners, including Peats.
While New Zealander McBride (63) was extradited to India in 2000, the others - Werner Wulf Ingo (Australia), Neels Oscar Johnson (Sweden), Raymond Varley (Thailand), Zell Jurgen Adreas alias Yogi (Germany) and Dominique Sabire (France) - are absconding.
Peats and McBride have been convicted of criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, abducting, sodomy and of selling minors for prostitution.
The state government as well as the police now admit that paedophiles do flock to Goa posing as tourists.
But, despite several assurances, the state government is reluctant to bring a special legislation to deal with the menace even as paedophiles fearlessly continue to prey on young children.
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