Thursday 29 Sep 2022

War on drugs: Focus now on wealth, assets of criminals



The Goa Police have decided to go after criminals and their associates for unexplained wealth and assets accumulated through unlawful means.

The department suspects several criminals, particularly those involved in narco-trade, could not have amassed wealth or acquired a large portion of their assets legally.

“Proceeds of crime will be investigated to ensure that illegally acquired wealth and assets are not further used by any criminal to commit a crime,” Director General of Police Jaspal Singh. 

He was speaking to The Goan after attending a marathon inter-state coordination meeting with its counterparts from six other states, at police headquarters in Panaji on Thursday. “Properties derived from criminal activity will be seized (through legal methods),” he said.

The meeting, attended by a range of agencies – police officers from Goa, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Odisha, Gujarat; Coast Guard, Narcotics Control Bureau, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, etc, was aimed at intelligence sharing on narcotics and organized crimes.

Goa’s adjoining States cautioned about the smuggling of drugs from their end to this coastal State considering its popularity among domestic and international tourists. Goa has unfortunately turned out to be a destination for recreational drugs, with the latest incident being the death of BJP leader Sonali Phogat due to a suspected drug overdose.

“Various forms of narcotics are smuggled into Goa from Karnataka, Odisha and adjoining districts from Maharashtra among other places. Goa is barely a fortnight away from its annual tourist season and there’s a huge possibility of smuggling recreational drugs. All the concerned agencies within and outside the State are urged to remain vigilant,” another officer said while emphasizing that Goa police’s specialized units are directed to remain watchful in the fight against drugs.

The officers also had a brainstorming discussion to strengthen coordination mechanisms and intelligence sharing besides facilitating the execution of legal and investigation processes. “Sharing of real-time information, best practices and suggestions on the drive against drugs were discussed,” the DGP said.

The Goa police and its counterparts also exchanged lists of proclaimed offenders while presentations were held regarding coastal security, vigil at border check posts, economic offenses, etc. 

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