Vasco News

Raid of PFI leader’s home shocks locals
Times of India | 3 days ago | |
Times of India
3 days ago | |

Vasco: Thursday’s search of Popular Front of India (PFI) leader Anis Ahmed Mossa’s Baina home by the National Investigation Agency, Enforcement Directorate and police forces generated shockwaves among local residents, who said they were clueless about his true identity. “It is shocking to know that he (Mossa) was associated with PFI activities and was operating from a flat located in the Housing Board Colony close to Baina beach for several years,” said councillor of ward 7, Ramchandra Kamat. “The people in my ward were in the dark for the past several years over PFI’s activities. They woke up on Thursday morning with a shock after noticing several security agencies surrounding and cordoning off the flat at Housing Board Colony,” he said.During the search, incriminating documents, cash, and several digital devices were seized. Mossa, PFI’s central committee member and a resident of Bengaluru, used to frequently visit Goa. He left the state over 15 years ago and is among PFI’s top leaders. Kamat, who said he was a childhood friend of Mossa and had attended the same school as him, slammed the local police for not being aware of the kind of activities being conducted by Mossa and PFI.“Mossa, who was occupying the flat at the Housing Board Colony, was spotted in the Baina locality some 12-15 years ago. He was last believed to be in Bengaluru, Karnataka. His father is said to be working on a barge, while one of his two brothers has a fishing business and the other is a mason. His sister resides at Mangor Hill,” Kamat said. He wondered why Mossa, who came from a family of good repute, would have links with PFI.“The flat at Housing Board Colony were Mossa used to reside is presently occupied by a maulana. People have noticed children visiting the flat, creating suspicions that it could be a madrassa,” said Kamat.

Raid of PFI leader’s home shocks locals
PFI leader’s house raided, docus, digital devices seized
Times of India | 4 days ago | |
Times of India
4 days ago | |

Panaji: The National Investigation Agency (NIA), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and police forces conducted a search at the residence of Popular Front of India (PFI) leader, Anis Ahmed Mossa, at Baina, Vasco, on Thursday. Around 20 officers were involved in the search operation.During the search, incriminating documents, cash, and a large number of digital devices were seized.The search started at 3am and concluded around 8pm. The central committee member, who is a resident of Bengaluru, used to frequently visit Goa. Musa left the state over 15 years ago and is one among the top PFI leaders. Goa police said that NIA and ED officials have come from Mumbai to conduct a search. PFI has its office in Margao and is also active in Ponda.NIA had taken the help of Goa police to conduct the search and a huge force of Goa police personnel were kept on standby to act in case of any law and order situation during the search.When asked if Goa police will monitor the activities of PFI in the state, director general of police (DGP) Jaspal Singh told TOI that the department’s special branch always keeps a watch on all organisations.Chief minister Pramod Sawant had said that during the time of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) agitation, PFI were active in Goa trying to create communal disturbance. Sawant had said that earlier, on three occasions, PFI had attempted to disturb communal harmony in the state. He had said that he had received a police report on the activities of the PFI and the attempts to disturb communal harmony.Sawant had also said that he will write to the Union government seeking a ban on the PFI in the country.

PFI leader’s house raided, docus, digital devices seized
Rising cases of conmen promising high returns, vanishing with money: Goa police
Times of India | 4 days ago | |
Times of India
4 days ago | |

PANAJI: Goa police has said that conmen luring many Goans with the promise of high returns on investments, collecting huge sums of money and then disappearing from Goa is a rising crime trend in the state. In the latest case, Noor Ahmed, a native of Bihar, who has allegedly cheated around 200 people, mainly in Vasco, using the same modus operandi was caught at the India-Nepal border in a joint operation by the police. The EOC has registered a first information report (FIR) against Ahmed for cheating. Police said Ahmed had cheated his victims to the tune of over Rs three crore on the pretext of providing flats and then vanished. Nearly 60 complaints of cheating had been filed against Ahmed before his arrest. “When we inquired, however, we found that he had cheated over 200 persons,” crime branch superintendent of police (SP) Nidhin Valsan said. As part of the scheme, Ahmed would take money to the tune of Rs five lakh on the pretext of selling flats to his victims. They were told that they will be given the flat on long lease and they would be owners of the flats over a period of time. The victims were also promised monthly returns. Initially, many victims were also paid monthly returns. The fraud came to light when flat owners who were also duped, started confronting the victims and asking them to pay the rent or vacate the premises. When they tried to contact Ahmed, he was unavailable over the phone and his office was also closed. Ahmed, who had been staying in Goa for almost nine years, started this scheme in 2018. So far, the economic offences cell (EOC) of Goa police has registered eight such cheating cases. “We have come across cases where people have invested their entire retirement benefits into such schemes,” Valsan said. Cautioning people against falling for such false promises, Valsan said that if anyone is approached with a scheme promising huge monthly or quarterly returns, they should study it carefully and inform the police in case they suspect something amiss.

Rising cases of conmen promising high returns, vanishing with money: Goa police
  • Rising cases of conmen promising high returns, vanishing with money: Police
  • Times of India

    Panaji: Goa police has said that conmen luring many Goans with the promise of high returns on investments, collecting huge sums of money and then disappearing from Goa is a rising crime trend in the state. In the latest case, Noor Ahmed, a native of Bihar, who has allegedly cheated around 200 people, mainly in Vasco, using the same modus operandi was caught at the India-Nepal border in a joint operation by the police. The EOC has registered a first information report (FIR) against Ahmed for cheating.Police said Ahmed had cheated his victims to the tune of over Rs three crore on the pretext of providing flats and then vanished. Nearly 60 complaints of cheating had been filed against Ahmed before his arrest.“When we inquired, however, we found that he had cheated over 200 persons,” crime branch superintendent of police (SP) Nidhin Valsan said.As part of the scheme, Ahmed would take money to the tune of Rs five lakh on the pretext of selling flats to his victims. They were told that they will be given the flat on long lease and they would be owners of the flats over a period of time. The victims were also promised monthly returns. Initially, many victims were also paid monthly returns. The fraud came to light when flat owners who were also duped, started confronting the victims and asking them to pay the rent or vacate the premises. When they tried to contact Ahmed, he was unavailable over the phone and his office was also closed. Ahmed, who had been staying in Goa for almost nine years, started this scheme in 2018. So far, the economic offences cell (EOC) of Goa police has registered eight such cheating cases. “We have come across cases where people have invested their entire retirement benefits into such schemes,” Valsan said.Cautioning people against falling for such false promises, Valsan said that if anyone is approached with a scheme promising huge monthly or quarterly returns, they should study it carefully and inform the police in case they suspect something amiss.

Cruise tourism to start from Sept-end
Times of India | 1 week ago | |
Times of India
1 week ago | |

Vasco: Domestic cruise liner The Cordelia Empress, which is expected to arrive on September 30, will kickstart the cruise tourism season in the state. The first international cruise vessel is expected later in October, Mormugao Port Authority (MPA) officials said. MPA chairman Venkata Ramana Akkaraju said that this year, they are expecting 56 port calls, including 21 international cruise liners.Akkaraju held a meeting with key government departments and private stakeholders in order to ensure smooth operations for the season. Issues pertaining to taxi and bus operators were also discussed.“During the pandemic, domestic as well as international cruises came to a standstill. Now we are restarting both and we want to make the experience comfortable and a memorable one,” Akkaraju said.Construction of the Rs 74.1 crore worth new international cruise terminal on 55,000 sqm of land is expected to be completed by September 2023. “Till then, cruise liners will use the existing terminal,” he added. He said that standard operating procedures for enforcement agencies will be put in place so passengers and cruise operators have a hassle-free experience. “We are confident that all cruise visitors coming to Goa will have a good and unforgettable experience,” said Akkaraju.Goa usually plays host to about 51 international cruise liners including the M S Europa, Regent Seven Seas, M S Nautica, Ocean Odyssey, The World, M S Borealis, Silver Spirit and M S Ocean Odyssey. However, most international tourists do not disembark here.

Cruise tourism to start from Sept-end
3 held in K’taka for Baina murder
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

Vasco: Mormugao police on Sunday nabbed three more accused involved in the murder of 33-year-old history-sheeter Umesh Harijan which occurred at Katem, Baina. With this, Mormugao police said that all five accused have been arrested.The three — 28-year-old Jumman Shaikh, a resident of Baina, Parshuram Doddamani,25, a resident of Mestawada and 28-year-old Durgappa Madar, a resident of Mangor-Hill, were absconding after committing the murder on September 5.“The police were on their chase and a team was dispatched after we received information that they had taken shelter in Karnataka,” deputy superintendent of the Vasco sub-division, Rajesh Kumar told TOI.Mormugao PI Raghoba Kamat said that they were informed that the accused were in Bagalkot, Karnataka. Upon reaching Bagalkot, the police team learnt that they had boarded a bus bound for Belagavi. Police intercepted the bus on the highway. The accused were then taken into custody and brought to the Mormugao police station at around 8.15 pm. Kamat said the trio will be produced before the judicial magistrate first class (JMFC), Vasco, on Monday to obtain remand. Meanwhile, the seven-day police custody obtained for two other accused arrested earlier, Amir Hussain and Deepak Sahani, ends on Monday. Hussain and Sahani had been nabbed by the Old Goa police on the Banastarim-Old Goa highway while attempting to flee.“There is no prime accused in this case. All five assaulted Harijan with sharp weapons and brutally killed him,” Kamat said.

3 held in K’taka for Baina murder
Microplastics from waste dumped into oceans can enter food chain: NCPOR
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

PANAJI: With over 150 million tonnes of plastic floating in the oceans, Goa’s shores could soon be swamped by microplastics that will not only destroy marine life but also enter the human body, said the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR). Two NCPOR project scientists — Melena Soares and Maria Fernandes — highlighted the threat posed by garbage being dumped into the oceans. Fish, birds and other marine organisms have already started ingesting plastic, the scientists told students at Deepvihar Higher Secondary School, Vasco, during an awareness drive that has been launched in Goa as part of the Centre’s Swachh Sagar Surakshit Sagar (Clean Coast, Safe Coast) campaign. The drive included an hour-long walkathon in the morning followed by a lecture on the importance of protecting oceans from pollution. “Humans depend on coastal resources for survival and livelihood,” said Fernandes. She said that microplastics from the ocean will soon enter into the food chain. Soares said that plastic debris has caused the death of millions of birds as it cuts off the breathing passage and stomach. “Roadside littering, dumping of food wrappers on the beaches, and several other human activities have generated enormous plastic waste,” said Fernandes, a marine geochemist. “Coral reefs, mangroves, mudflats and sand dunes are fragile and critical ecosystems for marine life. When plastic and other garbage is dumped on the roadside, it makes its way into the water. Very often plastic is mistaken as food by marine life,” said Fernandes. NCPOR scientist V Sakthivel Samy said that a mega clean-up drive has been planned across India on September 17, which happens to be International Coastal Cleanup Day. He said that in Goa, a beach clean up drive will be simultaneously conducted on five beaches in Goa. He said that the Indian Coast Guard, Mormugao Port Authority, Indian Oil Corporation and other organisations will participate in the beach clean-up drive. The drive will be held at Miramar, Baina, Bogmalo, Velsao and Colva beaches. “After all the waste is collected, we will submit a statistical report on the type of garbage collected, the location and other details. The basic aim here is that we have to clean our own oceans. We have to see that the next generation gets the same benefits that we have got from the oceans,” said Samy.

Microplastics from waste dumped into oceans can enter food chain: NCPOR
Goa: 3 family members killed in collision at Canacona
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

CANACONA: Three members of a family died on the spot, and several others injured, following a collision between two cars on the Manohar Parrikar National highway bypass at Rajbag-Tarir, Canacona, Wednesday evening. Police revealed the names of those dead as Ulhas Ram Nagekar, 64, his wife, Veena, 60, and son Harish, 35, all residents of Upasnagar, Vasco. The Nagekars, altogether eight members of the family, were natives of Majali, Karwar, and were travelling in one car. Several others from both vehicles sustained injuries – two among them are learnt to be critical – and are being treated in a hospital, Canacona PI Chandrakant Gawas said. Eyewitnesses told reporters that the driver of one of the cars lost control of the vehicle after it hit the divider, and consequently collided with the oncoming four-wheeler on the other lane. A driver of one of the cars also sustained injuries. A two-wheeler rider who was in front of one of the cars also sustained injuries owing to the impact of the collision, sources said. Incidentally, this is the 7th accident at this spot in recent times, eyewitnesses said. Locals voiced their concern over the frequent accidents that have taken place along this stretch of the highway of late. They pointed out that this was the seventh among the spate of accidents that have occurred at this spot recently. They have demanded that the authorities concerned devise a mechanism to curb accidents at the spot.

Goa: 3 family members killed in collision at Canacona
  • Goa: Three die in road accident at Canacona
  • Times of India

    MARGAO: Three persons, including a woman, died on the spot following a collision between two cars on Manohar Parrikar National highway bypass at Rajbhag-Tarir, Canacona, Wednesday evening. Several others sustained injuries – two among them are learnt to be critical – and are being treated in a hospital. Eyewitnesses told reporters that the driver of one of the cars involved that was proceeding towards Karwar, lost control after hitting the divider and the four-wheeler collided with an oncoming car on the other lane. A driver of one of the cars also sustained injuries. Incidentally, this is the 7th accident at this spot in recent times, eye witnesses said.

Goa: Construction sector struggles for sand, looks at alternatives
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

PANAJI: Given the decade-long ban on sand extraction and the insatiable demand for it, Goa’s construction industry finds itself facing an acute shortage of sand. From clandestine deliveries at night to exorbitant prices, the restriction on sand mining has pinched the sector. At the same time, it has compelled builders to look at cheaper and more accessible alternatives such as readymade cement bricks, gypsum, manufactured sand and even cement-less concrete. While hinting at the presence of a sand mafia, most builders say that the root of Goa’s sand shortage is the government’s failure to bring in appropriate policies for sand extraction. “Whenever an activity is not legal, then whatever is happening is illegal and for this you need some protection, you need a network. My gut feeling is that there is something underhand happening and this has definitely affected the industry,” said an industry representative, who did not wish to come on record. Builders also rued that constant intervention by activists and NGOs has also had a detrimental effect. With the state government yet to formulate policies for controlled sand mining in Goa’s rivers, it has given rise to unauthorised and rampant sand extraction. In what appears to be rivalry between two illegal sand contractors, shots were fired at three labourers who were extracting sand using a canoe at Maad, Bansai, in Curchorem. One labourer, who hails from Jharkhand, was shot dead while a second was injured. In a bid to evade police and other authorities, sand extraction begins at night and continues till the early hours of the morning. The business is lucrative with suppliers charging anywhere between Rs 2,000 and Rs 6,700 per cubic meter. Speaking to TOI, a sand extractor from Usgao, Ponda said enforcement agencies also need to be paid off to look the other way when sand is being transported. “We get sand somehow. Most of it is illegal and delivered at night. There are no bills, no quality checks and the prices are through the roof,” said a builder. The price of sand varies depending on its coarseness and source. Concrete sand, pit sand and fine river sand is costlier and naturally also hard to source. Fill sand and coarse river sand are also available. A reputed builder from Margao said that in order to avoid a hassle, his construction firm has shifted to manufactured sand (M Sand) which is made by grinding gravel, granite and other stones. M Sand is also free from silt and clay, which is often found in river sand. “The construction industry needs to change the way it builds. When the government is cutting down on mining and excavation, the courts keep stepping in and NGOs keep filing petitions, the availability of raw material, not just sand, is bound to shrink. So essentially builders are now going for ACC blocks, gypsum for plastering and even cementless concrete,” said a Vasco-based civil engineer and consultant.

Goa: Construction sector struggles for sand, looks at alternatives
  • Construction sector struggles for sand, looks at alternatives
  • Times of India

    Panaji: Given the decade-long ban on sand extraction and the insatiable demand for it, Goa’s construction industry finds itself facing an acute shortage of sand. From clandestine deliveries at night to exorbitant prices, the restriction on sand mining has pinched the sector. At the same time, it has compelled builders to look at cheaper and more accessible alternatives such as readymade cement bricks, gypsum, manufactured sand and even cement-less concrete.While hinting at the presence of a sand mafia, most builders say that the root of Goa’s sand shortage is the government’s failure to bring in appropriate policies for sand extraction.“Whenever an activity is not legal, then whatever is happening is illegal and for this you need some protection, you need a network. My gut feeling is that there is something underhand happening and this has definitely affected the industry,” said an industry representative, who did not wish to come on record.Builders also rued that constant intervention by activists and NGOs has also had a detrimental effect. With the state government yet to formulate policies for controlled sand mining in Goa’s rivers, it has given rise to unauthorised and rampant sand extraction.In what appears to be rivalry between two illegal sand contractors, shots were fired at three labourers who were extracting sand using a canoe at Maad, Bansai, in Curchorem. One labourer, who hails from Jharkhand, was shot dead while a second was injured.In a bid to evade police and other authorities, sand extraction begins at night and continues till the early hours of the morning. The business is lucrative with suppliers charging anywhere between Rs 2,000 and Rs 6,700 per cubic meter.Speaking to TOI, a sand extractor from Usgao, Ponda said enforcement agencies also need to be paid off to look the other way when sand is being transported. “We get sand somehow. Most of it is illegal and delivered at night. There are no bills, no quality checks and the prices are through the roof,” said a builder.The price of sand varies depending on its coarseness and source. Concrete sand, pit sand and fine river sand is costlier and naturally also hard to source. Fill sand and coarse river sand are also available.A reputed builder from Margao said that in order to avoid a hassle, his construction firm has shifted to manufactured sand (M Sand) which is made by grinding gravel, granite and other stones. M Sand is also free from silt and clay, which is often found in river sand.“The construction industry needs to change the way it builds. When the government is cutting down on mining and excavation, the courts keep stepping in and NGOs keep filing petitions, the availability of raw material, not just sand, is bound to shrink. So essentially builders are now going for ACC blocks, gypsum for plastering and even cementless concrete,” said a Vasco-based civil engineer and consultant.

After SIT, Goa panel under HC ex-judge to probe land grabbing cases
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday announced that his government has decided to appoint a one-man commission under former Bombay High Court judge, Justice V K Jadhav, to probe cases of land-grabbing in Goa.Stating that the government is “very serious” and wants to “settle all cases of land grabbing at the earliest”, Sawant said the commission, appointed under the Commission of Inquiries Act, 1952, will complete its inquiry in four months.The Chief Minister said several illegal land-grabbing cases are being investigated by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by the government in June — a first for the state — and it was found in some cases that the property concerned was in “no-man’s land”.The Justice Jadhav commission is expected to make recommendations on the fate of such properties and suggest any tweaks in the law, if required.Inspector General of Police Omvir Singh Bishnoi said 15 people have been arrested in cases of 93 properties allegedly grabbed illegally, involving nearly 1.5 lakh sq metre land.“In some of these cases the property belongs to its real owners, but in some [other] cases we are yet to find the actual owners. What is to be done for that (these properties) is to be decided by the government,” Bishnoi said. So far, the accused have executed 71 illegal sale deeds with forged documents, he said.According to Bishnoi, 40 cases are under SIT’s probe in connection with the 93 properties — in 26 of these, the “real owners” were the complainants and police are yet to receive complaints from “authorised complainants” in the remaining 67 instances. Bishnoi said, “We have received over 230 petitions. We are in the process of identifying whether these are real owners or third parties.”Most cases under the SIT’s scanner are in Anjuna, Assagao, Badem, Calangute, Mapusa, Nerul, Parra and Reis Magos areas of North Goa and some from Vasco and Margao in South Goa.“Efforts are on to find the accused who have fled abroad and several teams are working to nab those in the country,” Bishnoi said.The SIT, constituted on June 15, is led by Superintendent of Police, Crime Branch, Nidhin Valsan and includes members from the state’s Archeology and Revenue departments and the state registrar. Chief Minister Sawant had earlier said that he will personally monitor the cases being probed by the SIT.

After SIT, Goa panel under HC ex-judge to probe land grabbing cases