Goa 'becoming sex and drugs haven'

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The Independent Online

India's tourism mecca Goa is fast becoming a centre for the sex trade and drugs, a leading business group has said.

The Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) warned the state government to protect Goa's image as a tourist-friendly destination.

"Tourism in Goa, of late, is getting a bad name, with it slowly emerging as a drug and sex destination," GCCI president Cesar Menezes said.

"There is no basic tourism and entertainment infrastructure in the state. Problems of law and order and rubbish will spell doom for state tourism," he said.

The state's tourism minister Mickky Pacheco had earlier said Goa was on its way to becoming the rape capital of India.

Many foreign tourists have been sexually assaulted in the past few years in the state including British teenager Scarlett Keeling. The Devon girl was raped and murdered at Anjuna beach in February 2008.

Most recently, a nine-year-old Russian girl was sexually abused, sparking a nationwide debate on the safety of tourists in Goa.

The government, however, has increased security for tourists and promised to take tough action against the culprits to avoid these incidents in the future.

Source: The Belfast Telegraph