Russian quizzed for ‘illegal’ work as ‘guide’, locals say there are more

The authorities should fine such illegal reps and tour guides with very heavy fines and even deport them if necessary. These people come and deprive the locals of their daily bread earnings.

The tourist police cell of Goa police on Wednesday apprehended a Russian national in connection with allegedly illegally escorting tourists to Dudhsagar waterfalls, without a valid work visa. Tourist department officials say he assured them he had the required documents and produced some on Thursday, while promising to return with more on Friday.

Locals claimed that there are more such ‘guides’, but police ignored their advice on how to go about nabbing them, and as a result, managed to apprehend only one ‘guide’. They said that among the nine buses that they stopped, the foreigners acting as ‘guides’ mixed with the tourists and were not traceable, while five other buses escaped through another route.

Repeated complaints have been filed, along with photographic and video evidence, to the police inspector, Collem police station, director general of police, Panaji, director of tourism, president of the travel and tourism association of Goa, president of tourist guides federation of India (Goa Chapter), for more than a year now, regarding foreigners involved in illegal activities, including being a tourist guide, an escort or translators for tourists at Dudhsagar waterfalls, without valid work visas, sources said.

His complaint goes on to state that some of the foreigners are also involved in illegal business of selling excursions on the beaches of Goa, without paying any government taxes. ” Business visa does not permit a foreigner to undertake outdoor jobs such as working as guides/escorts/translator/interpreter, only a work visa does, ” he said in his complaint, adding that from mid-October 2016 till November 2016, locals have video recorded and photographed 38 foreigners acting as guides or escorts or translators and interpretors who don’t have employment or work visas.
In his RTI application to the sub-division police officer at Ponda, last month, Barreto requested to know why no arrests were made in Colem till date, despite “spoon feeding (his) department with evidence”.
“The information sought is not covered under Section 2 (f) of the RTI Act 2005,” was the reply he received. Barreto said he would file a contempt petition in the high court of Bombay at Goa.