Goa Police officials, including the director general of police (DGP),
colluded to allow an Israeli drug dealer escape, an opposition
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said Tuesday. The home minister
announced an enquiry into the drug dealer’s disappearance.
Addressing a press conference here, state BJP’s chief spokesperson
Rajendra Arlekar also alleged that Home Minister Ravi Naik was aware
of Yaniv Benaim alias Atala’s escape from Goa and had misled the
state assembly during the monsoon session which ended earlier this
“Police officers right from the top, including the director general
of police, have colluded to allow Atala to escape. They are
sabotaging the investigation from the very beginning,” Arlekar said.
Atala, an Israeli drug dealer with alleged links with Naik’s son and
several key police officers, including senior Indian Police Service
(IPS) officers, was arrested as part of a probe against the drug
mafia but jumped bail and has been missing for more than a month
The police Monday admitted that Atala had been missing since the
second week of July and that they were unaware of his whereabouts.
‘When the home minister addressed the assembly in the first week of
August, he knew that Atala was missing. He did not say so then. He
has misled the assembly,” Arlekar said.
“Atala’s escape has proved that top police officers are involved in
the drug mafia. There has to be a Central Bureau of Investigation
(CBI) probe into the drug mafia nexus now. There is simply no other
way,” Arlekar, a former state BJP chief, said.
Naik later told reporters outside his residence in Panaji that an
enquiry had been initiated into Atala’s jumping of bail.
“I have ordered police to inquire into how the drug peddler went
missing,” the home minister told reporters.
Seven police officers have already been arrested for their links to
the drug mafia. A Swedish model and former girlfriend of Atala has
also accused Naik’s son Roy Naik of having links to Atala, a charge
which both father and son have denied.