Goa: The tout mafia in Goa is so brazen when it comes to duping tourists, that even nurses from the Goa Medical College were being fraudulently pitched as means to a "good time" to unsuspecting tourists in the past, Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte said even as he called for a crackdown on the tout network operating along the coastal belt.
Khaunte also visited the Mapusa police station to seek an update on the investigation into the assault, dacoity and robbery of 11 tourists from Chandgad tehsil in South Maharashtra last week.
The Mapusa police have arrested six persons, including three women in connection with the case, which Khaunte said was a slur on the face of Goa Tourism.
"There was a similar gang operating in Bambolim. Touts used to fraudulently lure tourists, telling them about nurses (being available) and then take them to a designated place and attack and rob them," Khaunte said.
The Tourism Minister said that the gang was busted due to the initiative of then Chief Minister late Manohar Parrikar.
Khaunte also said that the entire tout network in Goa needed to be uprooted to ensure that tourists were not hassled in Goa.
"This syndicate of touts needs to be cracked down on. What has happened is a horrid thing for Goa and Goa Tourism... The syndicate functions like this. The touts first meet young tourists. They show them the world, that everything is available here. They take them to a spot, tie them up and beat them. They are robbed. Using technology, they actually strip them of what they have. This syndicate needs to be busted," Khaunte told reporters outside the Mapusa police station.
He also said that he had urged the Director General of Police to spare no effort in order to crack down on touts operating on the coastal belt.
"Massage spas operating illegally on the beach belt and elsewhere are nothing but a tout syndicate which is operating as a gang in Goa and this needs to be busted with a strong fist. I have told DGP to pick up such touts from the beach. Tourists being assaulted in cities is not acceptable," the Tourism Minister said.
There was a need to "finish this syndicate", the Tourism Minister said.
Khaunte said that just like in the case of tourists from Chandgad, who were lured to isolated premises with the lure of cheap food and a massage and then beaten and robbed, there are tout syndicates operating throughout the North Goa coastal belt.
He also questioned how a dance bar continued to operate in Calangute, when its promoter was in prison. "There is a Mehfil dance bar in Calangute. The promoter is in jail, but the dance bar is still operating despite him being in jail," he said.
This news is reported by The Goan. To read more GOA news visit The Goan.