A vital deposition before the crime branch, a copy of which has been accessed by Herald has stated that one of the Anjuna shacks, frequented by foreigners including alleged drug peddler Yaniv Benaim (Atala), played trance music, with the ‘blessings’ of a former Congress Chief Minister and a sitting BJP minister. This revelation provides a shocking twist in the ongoing CBI investigation probing the police-drug nexus case, that politicians across party lines have allegedly patronised illegalities along the beach belt.
Roy Fernandes’ deposition to the crime branch in 2010 flaunts his alleged closeness to the then Chief Minister Francisco Sardinha and the present Art & Culture Minister Dayanand Mandrekar.
“I started shack business…and I was playing trance music, due to which many foreigners were visiting my shack. I was close to the then CM (Francisco) Sardinha. I did business by seeking his blessings,” reads Roy’s statement recorded by the former investigating agency Goa Police crime branch on August 28, 2010 which is now in possession of the CBI along with other related documents.
Roy further states, “Thereafter BJP government came to power and Manohar Parrikar took over. He stopped my business for sometime. I restarted my business by seeking blessings of local MLA Dayanand Mandrekar. I stopped my business in the year 2006 due to objections from the local residents.”
Roy, who was former secretary to Fatima D’Sa during her ministership, has recently lodged a police complaint against Congress spokesman Sudip Tamhankar for maligning his image by calling him a ‘drug trafficker’ at a press conference.
In his two-page testimony, a copy of which is with Herald, the businessman also named one Sandeep Chimulkar, a local BJP leader of giving permissions to various locals to hold trance music parties during nights.
While admitting that he knew Atala, Roy, in the same breath said in the deposition that he did not remain in contact with him after the Israeli’s bail. While Roy, as told to Crime Branch by his wife Tessa, is convicted in a Bastora murder case and it is on appeal before the Supreme Court; the husband-wife duo was acquitted in a case wherein they were tried for playing trance music and threatening locals.
In yet another revelation that may put Lucky Farmhouse, a key witness in the drug nexus and ex-girlfriend of Atala, in a tight spot, another local businessman Roy D’Souza had deposed that the foreign couple had insisted that he take drugs from the couple. “I remember in 2007, Atala was coming to our restaurant along with one girlfriend named Lucky. Atala and the said lady had requested me to take cocaine from them on two or three occasions but I never accepted anything from them. I then avoided Atala and his girlfriend and discontinued contact with them,” he had stated to the Crime Branch, case which was then investigated by controversial officer DySP Chandrakant Salgaonkar. [H]