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‘Government will crack down on tourists who overstay’

Bambolim: Reiterating that the Manohar Parrikar-led government would not compromise on drug trafficking along Goa’s coastal belt, tourism minister Manohar ‘Babu’ Azgaonkar on Thursday said that the state government would crack down on tourists who overstay their visa in Goa and those who are involved in drug trade. The MGP minister also asserted his belief that “Goa police officials were hand in glove with the drug peddlers”.

“There will be strict action against tourists who overstay in Goa and who peddle drugs. We won’t allow them to go scot-free,” Azgaonkar said.

On Wednesday, Calangute police arrested a Nigerian national, identified as Victor Igwe Amos, during a narcotic raid along the coastal belt.

The 32-year-old resident of Lagos, Nigeria, was found in possession of drugs worth Rs 50,000 in the international market and during the interrogation, police discovered that he didn’t have any passport or travel document.

Given that the Goa police reports to the home department, which is looked after by the chief minister, the tourism minister did put the ball in Parrikar’s court.

“The chief minister is keeping a close watch on this. I don’t think the chief minister will compromise on this. He will take strict action,” Azgaonkar said, while inaugurating a food and hospitality trade fair at Bambolim on Thursday.

Azgaonkar called on all MLAs in Goa to cut across party lines to combat the rampant drug trade in the state which was destroying lives of youth and families. The tourism minister also put the onus on Goa police to clamp down on the drug trade.

“I have a doubt that there is police involvement in the way drugs are trafficked and sold. Because everyone knows what is happening. Police officials who are involved should be suspended. And if no action is taken, then I shall inform the chief minister,” he said. (TOI)

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