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US Tells India, Goa Ex-Minister May Be Part Of Global Trafficking Racket

New Delhi: The Bureau of Diplomatic Security, a unit of the US State Department, has told India that the former tourism minister of Goa, Francisco Xavier ‘Mickey' Pacheco, may be involved in a massive immigration
PTI September 05, 2010 11:26 IST
PTI
New Delhi: The Bureau of Diplomatic Security, a unit of the US State Department, has told India that the former tourism minister of Goa, Francisco Xavier ‘Mickey' Pacheco, may be involved in a massive immigration and money laundering racket, The Indian Express reports.

Pacheco, known for his flamboyant lifestyle and beach parties, resigned as minister on June 6 following allegations of his involvement in the mysterious death of his companion Nadia Torrado.  

He was arrested on July 9 and bailed on July 26 — around the same time when the US first alerted India about his alleged role in the racket.

Top government sources said the Bureau of Diplomatic Security first got in touch with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) through the US mission in New Delhi, and has since backed the allegations against Pacheco with documents and details of banking transactions.  

The evidence is being described as “substantive and watertight”. After high-level discussions, the MEA passed the case on to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is now making an assessment of the economic and criminal violations the ex-minister might have committed.

CBI officials confirmed the receipt and scrutiny of the evidence provided by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

The US advisory followed the arrest of several Goans at various American airports, all of whom were found to be travelling on fake travel documents, and linked in some way with Pacheco. In several cases where Pacheco had recommended the issual of visas, supporting documents submitted by the applicants were found to be fake or forged.

Investigations by US authorities have revealed that Pacheco has, “as of now”, a balance of above $15 million in banks in the US, and has recently made transfers of around $2 million to India.  

Details of all the relevant bank accounts and transactions have been handed over to Indian authorities. CBI officials said the US has provided the entire documentation in four or five of the illegal travel and immigration cases.

 In some other cases, details are awaited. The CBI is likely to hand over the cases related to the transfer of foreign exchange to the Enforcement Directorate.