Note: tambdimati: the Goa review does not endorse many of the claims in this sensationalist, error-strewn article in this week’s India Today. We present excerpts here for you to decide
Yaniv Benaim aka Atala, the most colourful of Goa’s Israeli drug dons, made headlines with a video on YouTube. His Swedish model-girlfriend named Lucky Farmhouse alias Amori posted the grainy, shaky video clip that became an instant Internet must-watch.
In the video, Atala speaks about his drug operation and how Goan police on his payroll advised him of ways to avoid getting caught – don’t buy a cellphone in your own name and change phone numbers frequently because your calls are monitored. “This is the mafia,” is how Atala describes the confederacy of crime between the police, politicians and the drug cartels.
The amateur video shows him speaking candidly about his arrangements with Anti-Narcotics Cell policemen, including Senior Inspector Ashish Shirodkar. “Nobody can touch me because I pay a lot of money,” said Atala. He was arrested immediately. So were six policemen, including Shirodkar. Twenty-four kilos of hashish had disappeared from the anti-narcotics warehouse on their watch. Atala confessed that the police had sold the drugs back to him. Goa’s Home Minister Ravi Naik explained that the vanished drugs were “eaten by white ants”.