PANAJI: The Congress on Thursday made an explosive allegation of an operation to "smuggle gold" from a foreign country allegedly masterminded by a Goa cabinet minister along with his staff.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters, GPCC chief Amit Patkar said, that although this operation has been made to appear like simple holiday trips to Dubai and back by the minister’s personal staff from Goa, in reality, these trips were a front for a multi-crore smuggling operation wherein gold is smuggled by evading taxes and thus causing a huge loss to the national exchequer.
Involvement of law agencies officers?
"The racket takes on even more ominous undertones as it is also suspected to involve certain members of law agencies," Patkar said, adding that it warrants a deeper probe and investigation.
Patkar, however, did not identify who the cabinet minister was.
The modus operandi has been going on for months or probably even years, he said, adding that the Congress party demands a thorough and in-depth investigation.
Patkar, who was accompanied by general secretary Viriato Fernandes and others, said that his party has also come to know that the minister concerned is making desperate attempts to use the police to save himself, his family members and his staff from being subjected to a criminal investigation.
Use of threats and coercion to silence raised voices
He also alleged that a law enforcement agency is also being used to silence certain individuals connected with the racket through threats and coercion.
The Congress party is convinced that the Chief Minister, also holding the home portfolio, has been adequately and routinely briefed by the intelligence agencies and is fully aware of it.
Patkar said such shameful acts have become routine under the BJP dispensations both at the Centre as well as in the State.