Mumbai: A small, sleepy hamlet on Maharashtra Goa border with a 2000 population has come under scrutiny of intel agencies for narcotics trafficking.
Sasoli village in Sindhudurg bordering Goa has been flagged by intel agencies as the emerging transit hub for narco trafficking with huge narco investments into sea front properties about 15 mins drive from the new Goa international airport at Mopa.
Foreign investments around Sasoli
Israelis, Germans, Nigerian and Russians have made huge investments around Sasoli to distribute designer party drugs like LSD, Ecstasy and Cocaine further to Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi.
Goa police have arrested 61 foreign nationals in the last 3 years for drug trafficking and majority of them are Nigerian nationals.
“Half of Sasoli village on Dodamarg road is in north Goa and other half in Sindhudurg, Maharashtra. Local youths commute daily to Goa for work while outsiders purchase lots of properties in the village and surrounding areas which are being used for clandestine activities,” claimed local villager Yashwant Naik.
Rising trend of foreign drug traffickers
The rising trend of foreign drug traffickers using Sasoli as base for narcotic distribution was highlighted at the Western Region Coordination meeting attended by the Director General of Police and other senior police officials of Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Union Territories of Daman, Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli last month.
The intel reports shared in the police meeting identified multiple new dirt tracks and roads in Sindhudurg district along the borders of Maharashtra and Goa used by drug cartels to transport huge consignments of narcotics to Goa and Mumbai for further distribution.
The anti narcotic cell of Goa Police had shared intelligence inputs of several dirt roads earlier used by cattle grazers along the canal, in Sasoli being used for smuggling narcotics. “We have shared inputs with local police and intensified patrolling on the Goa side and asked our counterparts in Maharashtra to increase vigil on their side,” said a senior Goa police official.
The Goa Police on August 28 in a presentation “Cross border smuggling of drugs and use of Dark Web” flagged multiple dirt roads which had come up between Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg district and Goa that traffickers were increasingly using to smuggle narcotics.
Need for patrolling interstate roads
The meeting highlighted the need for patrolling interstate roads on Goa-Maharashtra borders and real time sharing of information between the two state police to curb the rise of narco trafficking.
The report identified the different cartels active in cross-border drug trafficking and rising cases of foreign nationals arrested in the last three years in drug possession cases.
The local Goan network was active in procurement of weed, hashish, ganja and opium from Manali, Odisha, Mumbai and Bangalore while the tourist network was used for further distribution of drugs to other states. The third network of international traffickers from Israel, Nigeria, United Kingdom, Germany and Russia were smuggling LSD, Cocaine, MDMA, Ecstasy, DMT and meth for distribution on the dark web with encryption layers and crypto transactions to evade detection.
Maharashtra police have gathered intelligence on vegetable trucks coming from Belgaum and Karnataka regions towards Goa using Dodamarg road passing Sasoli village with contraband cannabis being transported.
“Close proximity to the new Goa airport and NH44 to Mumbai and Bangalore make Sasoli an ideal transit but for drug distribution cartels. Unrestricted access to sea using small fishing boats to transport narcotics consignments to Goa and further down to Sawantwadi and Konkan coast make it easier for the cartels to operate,” confirmed a senior police official monitoring the rise of drug supply routes into Mumbai.