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Goa: How the Russian drug mafia operates
Vicky Nanjappa in Goa | March 10, 2008 14:38 IST
The drug mafia is in the news following British teen Scarlette's death in Goa [Images]. There have been complaints by local Goans regarding the rise of this mafia, which is largely controlled by the Russians.
Goa has become a transit point for drugs in India. With rave parties being the order of the day, there is no way that such events can be held without drugs.
The worrying point is that unlike 10 years back, the drugs are no longer being just smuggled into Goa.
There are reports which would suggest that the mafia in Goa is also actively involved in sending out drugs to various parts of the country and the world.
A local drug dealer on Anjuna beach explains that the most common way of smuggling drugs out of the country or to other places in India is with the help of minors, especially girls.
Minors are usually not doubted by the police and hence, they manage to get away. It is a 75:25 chance, the dealer explains.
Moreover, minors are covered under the Juvenile Justice Act, which saw a very unnecessary amendment recently.
The age of a minor under the act was increased from 16 years to 18 years. Under this act, death penalty or life imprisonment cannot be awarded and hence, this works perfectly for those abeting the crime.
In case an adult is held guilty for peddling drugs, then he could face 10 years of imprisonment.
There is plenty of work for the mules, the dealer says. Of all the drugs manufactured, 70 per cent is smuggled out while 30 per cent is sold at rave parties and tourists in Goa.
There is an increasing demand for drugs especially in countries like Thailand and hence, more and more minor girls most of whom are tourists are being roped into this racket.
In India most of the supply is sent to cities like New Delhi, Bangalore and Kulu Manali.
Although the theory of whether Scarlette could have been used by the mafia to transport drugs may seem a bit far fetched at this moment, the Goa police say that there is no harm in probing this aspect too.
Everything is being looked into, the police say. They say that she could have been used for this purpose and there could had been a fallout as a result of which the mafia may have wanted her dead.
In Goa, the major drug centres at present are Anjuna, Vagator and Baga beaches. The irony is that the mafia has started manufacturing drugs in Goa now as there has been a major crackdown on this mafia the world over.
The latest drug in the Goa party scene is the CK-1 (Calvin Klein) pill, which is made locally. The CK-1 pill is made of anesthetic ketamine and cocaine and it is said that it is pretty much a rage in the Goa party scene.
This trend is very disturbing for local Goans. They fear that the inaction on part of the government to curb this problem will only lead to more problems in the future.
There could be wars between the drug lords and more murders in Goa.
The Goa government says that it will deal with the drug mafia with an iron hand. But the million dollar question is whether Goa can retain its reputation as the party place of India if drugs are wiped out of the market?
It is no secret, but Goa is becoming more and more popular for foreign tourists thanks to the drug scene that is so very available here.