The Russian consulate on Friday rubbished the often-repeated claims about existence of Russian mafia in Goa and its investments in the state's lucrative tourism industry.
"There is nothing called Russian mafia. There are no gun-wielding people on the streets of Moscow. It's a wrong impression that Russian mafia exists and they are operating in
Goa," Alexey Novikov, Consul General of Russian Federation in Mumbai, said. Novikov was in Panaji to meet Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
The envoy said reports about existence of Russian mafia in the coastal state are 'absolute lie'. "There may be some bad people but you cannot term them as members of a mafia. There are bad people in every community," he said.
In past, apprehensions had been raised over increasing investment from Russia in the tourism industry. Fears were raised in certain quarters that people connected to Russian mafia were off-loading their investments in Goa, which attracts over half a million foreign tourists every year.
Novikov said the "mafia" existing in Goa comprised local gangs. "We hope that Parrikar will eliminate that mafia and make Goa a much better place for tourists," he said.