Panaji: The involvement of Goans in drug peddling is gradually increasing with every passing year. The previous year saw Goans comprising over 31 per cent of the accused arrested in drug cases. However, police have maintained that locals arrested were not found with commercial quantity of drugs.
In 2017, over 23 per cent of the accused arrested in drug cases were Goans, while in 2018, it was 27 per cent.
The police had seized a similar quantity of drugs in the last three years, but in 2019, the value of the seized contraband was over Rs 6.38 crore. In 2017, drugs worth over Rs 2.91 crore and in 2018, drugs worth over Rs 2.96 crore were seized.Sources said that in 2019, of the several drugs seized, MDMA was highest in terms of value, as the price of the seized drugs was around Rs 2.5 crore followed by cocaine, which was worth around Rs 2 crore. Other types of drugs that have been seized include ecstasy tablets, charas, LSD papers, marijuana oil, ephedrine, methamphetamine, gbl liquid, heroin, ecstasy powder and cannabis plant, sources said adding that ganja worth around Rs 70 lakh was seized.
In 2019, the Goa Police had booked 218 cases and arrested 243 accused persons of which 76 were Goans, 107 were persons from other parts of India and 60 were foreign nationals.
In 2018, 222 cases were booked in which 237 accused were arrested; 64 were from Goa, 123 from other parts of the country and 50 were foreign nationals. Similarly in 2017, 168 cases were booked and 187 persons were arrested of which 44 were Goans, 105 Indian nationals and 38 foreign nationals.
Drugs seized in 2017, 2018 and 2019 were over 86 kg, 78 kg and 85 kg, respectively.
Foreigners arrested are from Nigeria, Russia, Kenya, Italy, Nepal etc.
It may be noted that last year, the Goa Police had launched a drive against drug menace. The drive was aimed at pushing the drug peddlers to the wall. As part of the drive, the drug peddlers who were earlier arrested were kept under surveillance. The police tracked down their activities and were also monitoring the source of their livelihood. Owing to the drive, some peddlers, mostly foreign nationals, were underground or had left the state and were not traceable, claimed police officials.