IndiaNewsNetwork.IN Goa Bureau | 3rd September 2015: Data, documents and other information obtained through an undercover sting operation conducted by three IndiaNewsNetwork.IN reporters in Goa over the last two weeks, shows that about two top Bureaucrats and a minimum of four Goa MLAs and Ministers are on the regular payroll of the Casino lobby in the State. The four Ministers who literally “run” the BJP-led government in Goa could have illegally benefited to a tune of Rs 5 crore totally in the last 10 to 12 months alone, to allow several illegal activities in different Casinos in Goa to go on unhindered and undisturbed, in spite of complaints by social activists and opposition leaders.
Our investigations have shown that 2-3 senior officials in the Home Department were hand-in-glove with casino operators and two senior officials of the rank of secretary and under-secretary in the Home Department, which is incidentally headed by Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, are getting huge regular monthly bribes or haftas.
One Bureaucrat, besides having an extra-marital affair with a much married woman has been blowing up huge amounts of the ill-gotten bribe money and other gifts obtained from the Casino operators on women – this has become a known secret in political and media circles in Goa. Four Ministers who hold sensitive portfolios in the Laxmikant Parsekar Government may have got about Rs 1 to 1.5 crore each over the last 10 to 12 months from the casino lobby. We have exercised restrain in mentioning names, only because we are individually verifying all the data collated regarding each of the individuals whose names have cropped up.
Last week Generation Next President Durgadas Kamat had alleged that there is a nexus between government officials of the Goa state Home Department and casino operators in the state. While addressing a press conference in Panaji, Kamat said he had lodged a police complaint against Bogmalo Beach Resort and Trade Wings and Management of Casino Pearl for operating casinos without a license.
According to the complaint, the Government of Goa had issued license to M/s Trade Wings Hotels Ltd to operate and run slot and games’ amusement machines on 17th August 2010. The license expired on 16th August 2015, according to Kamat and the license has not yet been renewed, but the resort continues to operate and run the slot and gambling machines with impunity, alleges Kamat. Apparently, two senior Bureaucrats in the Goa government were hand-in-glove with the Casino operator and financially benefited on a regular basis.
Kamat had alleged that in spite of the expiry of both licenses – 5-star classification as well as Casino license, Bogmalo Beach Resort at Bogmalo continued to operate its Casino with scant respect for the law, right under the nose of the police and Government of Goa. Both the police and the Home Department – headed by Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar are aware of this issue, but have done nothing to book the erring Casino operators, Kamat alleged.
Generation Next for Goa (GenX) had urged the Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar to undertake asset verification of all officials, including the secretary and under secretary, attached to the Home Department, alleging their connivance with casino operators.
Kamat alleged that senior officials of the Goa Home department were in connivance with offshore and onshore casino operators and demanded that their assets be verified. “Despite the Chief Minister rejecting the renewal license of the casino of the resort, the Home department officials allowed them to continue illegal gambling activities,” he alleged.