Desi tourists easy targets for drug scamsters in Goa

It is an open secret that domestic tourists, particularly the young crowd from the nation’s metros make a dash to Goa on long weekends dreaming of having an experiment with drugs. But, the reality is that many of them get cheated. Instead of getting ‘hard stuff’, they end up buying chalk powder or some tablet powder.

Small-time drug peddlers prey mostly on the first-time users, said a source. Such cases remain under wraps for obvious reasons, but, now even the police acknowledge the presence of peddlers who trade in substandard staff with their target being the Indian tourists.

Many in the know of how the illicit trade is being conducted, say drug peddlers go after the ‘desi’ tourists who have probably come to Goa to enjoy themselves for the first time.

If a person is a first-time user, he or she is an easy target, said sources.

A drug addict, who doubles up as a peddler, as and when the need arises, said he and some like him, mostly the addicts, resort to adulteration if they are running short of money. The mixture is sold to Indian tourists, he said.

He said unlike the hardcore peddlers, the addicts who peddle such mixtures do it not for profit, but to help themselves to meet their needs.

So how does he operate? “Make the first move. Spot a susceptible group of young Indian men on the beach or outside any nightclub behaving as if they have been let loose for the first time in life. You tell them you have the stuff they are looking for.”

“You take the money and pass on any powder, chalk power or talcum included. Indian tourists are the most gullible. By the time they realize they have been cheated it’s too late. They can’t go to the police,” he pointed out with a relish.

SP, Anti-Narcotic Cell (ANC), Karthik Kashyap confirmed about Indian tourists getting tricked in their attempt to buy drugs.

In fact, the ANC itself in a few cases of drug seizures, has got fooled. The seizure, we made, turned out to be some other stuff, he said.

The peddlers also use sleep-inducing tablets to pass on as drugs among other things, he said.

A shack operator, who has been running the business for the last decade, says the most dangerous thing in this is adulteration of party drugs or synthetic drugs which hardcore drugs peddlers resort to enhance their profitability

One may feel that the adulterated drug just deprives the user of a chance of getting a high, but what people don’t realize is that it can also prove fatal.

Since early this year, two deaths suspected to be drug overdose cases involving ‘desi’ tourists have been reported from North Goa. While there are many cases of drug overdose, the only thing is that they don’t get reported.