Panaji: A former Turkish army elite commando was arrested in Goa with party drugs worth Rs 71 lakh. The 47-year-old former commando, identified as Murat Tas, made a living selling drugs to foreigners, Goa police said.

Goa police’s anti-narcotics cell (ANC) had their eyes on Tas after they received valuable intelligence indicating that the Turkish national was selling MDMA to foreign tourists around Arambol, a beach popular with backpackers and Russian tourists.

Tas, who arrived in Goa on a tourist visa in November 2019, was monitored and followed by undercover policemen. “We searched him and his room and found 710 grams of MDMA concealed in his room at Khalchawada, Arambol, where he lived,” said a senior Goa police officer posted with the ANC.

According to the source, the former commando was living a jet-set lavish life by selling drugs. During interrogation, Tas confessed that he had started selling drugs in several countries just after he completed his compulsory commando training and service with the Turkish Army. “This was his second trip to India, and he stayed in Goa both times and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle. He used to sell drugs only to foreigners after befriending them to maintain his extravagant lifestyle,” a police officer who helped nab Tas said.

The former armyman first arrived on Goan shores in September 2018 and this is his second visit to the tourist state. He has visited Russia, Georgia, Sri Lanka, Germany, and other European countries where he had a similar modus oprandi, police said. The former commando told his interrogators that he used to purchase narcotics from Turkey and smuggle it into the country in a small container or in water bottles. Goa police are still verifying his statement and investigating how he managed to elude airport security checks.

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