As the state is fighting the pandemic on one hand, on the other, Goa’s name is being misled on many grounds, with several illegal activities being carried out freely by different groups. From crimes, assaults, fake-currency rackets, to now – luring tourists and robbing them.
Yesterday, three persons were arrested by the Calangute police for allegedly robbing tourists. The group would initially lure them to a bungalow located in the Porvorim area and then rob them.
The three persons arrested – Manish Rauthan, Anshuman Sharma, and Jaideep Duhal – would usually operate along the busy tourist belt of the Calangute beach area.
The modus operandi that the gang followed here was that they would approach tourists on the pretext of being travel guides, and later take them to a bungalow location in Porvorim and then loot them.
It is still not clear how long the gang has been operating, but similar activities of such nature have not been new to the state. Earlier last year, on the pretext of offering ‘pimps’ to local tourists, groups would collect money and then rob the tourists. They would lure tourists claiming to offer Russian girls to them.
Prior to this, several massage parlors would be active within the coastal areas, especially in North Goa, offering tourists ‘pimps’ and being actively involved in several prostitution rackets.
In yesterday’s case, the gang would also operate a wellness spa in Porvorim. The police, according to reports, has written to the district administration and the local court at Mapusa seeking permission to seal this area off.
The entire illegality came to light when a Bengaluru tourist filed a police complaint at the Calangute police station alleging that the accused, acting as a tourist guide, promised them a hotel accommodation. However, on taking them to the bungalow at Porvorim, the tourist, who was along with two of his friends, was robbed by the accused. The accused even used his debit card to withdraw money after threatening him with serious consequences.
The image of Goa as a ‘safe’ tourist destination has been seriously dented by all such illegal activities carried out by groups that have found their safe ‘base’ along the tourist belt of the state.
Goa, through fake websites and online portals, has been promoted as a ‘sex destination’ and the fear among such groups to carry out such activities is null.
Also, with the reopening of borders for domestic tourists, the state has been witnessing a large influx of tourists that have been recklessly spending time along the tourist belt. Recently, a video surfaced of a group of tourists, allegedly from Punjab driving their vehicle along the beach in a dangerous manner.
Also, a recent fake-currency racket was busted in the state, with Goa police claiming it to be of national scale, as teams have been dispatched across the country to look into this matter.
While local Goans battle it out to be safe amid a pandemic, several ‘gangs’ have found a safe spot to carry out such activities. Goa’s image portrayal as a tourist destination needs serious consideration from all agencies together.