Nigerian embassy wrote to External Affairs ministry informing of complaint received by Nigerian in Goa; MEA sends letter to Goa govt; Goa police inquiring into complaint of Nigerian, accusing SP ATS of extortion; Veracity of complaint to be decided after recording statement of complainant
PANJIM: The Goa government has received a communication from the Ministry of External Affairs, based on a letter from the Nigerian embassy in India, stating that one of their nationals in Goa, I C Ebony has accused a police officer in Goa, SP ATS Devesh Mahala of harassment and extortion.
The letter, a copy of which is with Herald, refers to the complaint made by Ebony, purportedly based in Goa, to the Nigerian embassy in India. “Mr Ebony claims that SP Mahala had forcefully collected Rs 1,00,000 (one lakh rupees) from him and has further demanded for an additional Rs 2,00,000 (two lakh rupees). SP Mahala is further alleged to have threatened that failure to make the payment would result in a staged incriminating situation,” the letter states.
The embassy, of the Republic of Nigeria, taking cognisance of the complaint has asked the Goa government and Goa police to investigate the accusation of “unwarranted intimidation harassment and extortion of Nigerians in Goa”, beyond the specifics of this one accusation against one officer. “Mission also wishes to note that this is not the first complaint received from Nigerians in India regarding alleged corrupt police officers”
The letter goes on to state that “this worrisome practice is of grave concern and this type of agenda addressed would tarnish the image of the entire police force,” the External Affairs Ministry’s correspondence states.
The Goa Police confirmed they have received the complaint from the Nigerian embassy in India and a communication from the Union Ministry of External Affairs, and said that they are inquiring into it.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Vimal Anand Gupta said “We have asked the local police and FRRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Office) to trace the complainant in Goa to record his statement”, he said. He said that after recording the statement of the complainant, Mahala will be called for his version.