Yaniv Benahim alias Atala, the much talked about alleged drug dealer having connections with the police and top politicians has apparently given police the slip and moved out of Goa.
Atala who was staying at the Angel Resorts, Porvorim, checked out from the hotel on 4th July and since then nobody knows about his whereabouts.
It may be recalled that Atala was arrested following a disclosure by his jilted girlfriend Lucky Farmhouse about his drug dealing activities and boast that he had connections in high places including the police force. Besides, Ms Farmhouse had also alleged that Atala was very friendly with Roy Naik son of Goa’s Home Minister Ravi Naik.
He was released on bail in June this year and was asked not to leave the State or the country. But apparently Atala has just managed to do that.
The Digambar Kamat government came in for severe criticism over this issue particularly due to the allegation that his Home Minister’s son was involved with the drug dealers. In fact, the police and prosecution department also faced a lot of flak for the handling of Atala’s bail application with many accusing the department of taking a weak stand to enable Atala to get bail.
The recently concluded monsoon session of Goa Legislative Assembly witnesses heated debates over the issue with the Opposition BJP demanding that the investigation in drug dealers, police and politician nexus be handed over to the CBI. The Opposition had expressed its lack of confidence in the Goa Police to investigate the case primarily on two grounds – the first being that the Home Minister’s son is alleged to be involved and the second being that police would not investigate a case against their own colleagues.
However, both Mr. Kamat and Mr. Naik had refused to budge and insisted that the police investigations were on the right track. They also pointed out that seven policemen including Police Inspector Ashish Shirodkar have been arrested in this case and placed under suspension.
With the disappearance of Atala, the investigations are likely to be stuck. But more worrisome is the fall out of this development and what it means for Lucky Farmhouse who is yet to record her statement with the Goa Police. In an earlier post on her blog, Ms. Farmhouse besides stating that she had evidence to prove Atala’s links with Goa Police and politicians, had also expressed fear of her life claiming that she had been threatened with dire consequences.