Goa disbands local intel units after extortion charge

Panaji: The Goa Police has disbanded local intelligence branches (LIBs) after a constable was accused of extorting money from a tourist couple while threatening to implicate them in a prostitution case, a senior police officer said Tuesday.

Inspector General of Police Sunil Garg also said the complaint by the tourist couple was forwarded by the chief minister to the police, as a result of which the accused constable Melvn Cardozo, since absconding, has also been suspended pending an inquiry.

Garg said: "The LIB units in Goa have been disbanded because of complaints of extortion from tourists and innocent civilians."

LIB are units attached to police stations, responsible for collecting localised intelligence in the police station's jurisdiction and its personnel have often been accused of running extortion rackets in the past.

Garg said that the couple as well as the named constable were partying in separate groups at the LPK night club last weekend. The constable then accosted the couple when they were travelling back to their hotel and threatened to book them in a prostitution case if they did not shell out Rs.10,000.

"The couple paid the money to the constable and later complained to the chief minister's office. We have booked the constable for extortion," Garg said.

The officer also issued a stern warning to all police officials against harassing tourists, who flock to the state during the tourist season from October to March, claiming action would be taken against those who extort money from visitors.

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