Posted on: February 11, 2022, 06:20h.
Last updated on: February 11, 2022, 08:57h.
A man who had just stopped at a gaming venue in Panjim, India was assaulted and robbed at knifepoint Thursday. Two local taxi drivers were charged in the holdup. The man apparently did not suffer serious injuries.
The suspects were identified as Shaikh Asif, 38, of Ranchi, and Taufik Dharwad, 27, of Dharwad. In their possession were gold and diamond jewels, which were apparently stolen from the victim.
The victim, who lives in Andhra, was visiting the casino in Goa’s capital city when he was taken to a hilly area nearby, regional newspaper O Heraldo reported. That is where the heist took place.
Bank Robbery to Pay Casino Debt
In an unrelated incident, in December two men stole money from Vijay Cooperative Bank’s Kalupur branch, where one of the suspects, Vimal Patel, 39, of Meghaninagar, had a job.
They needed to pay off a gambling debt from Majestic Pride Casino in Goa, India Today reported. The money had been stored in a bank vault. The vault was broken into.
As local police questioned Patel, he eventually confessed to having a role in the theft, authorities said. Patel gave bank keys to the second suspect, Javid Sanghi, 32, of Fatehwadi, police add. He was the one who allegedly stole the currency. Surveillance cameras were turned off at the bank before the theft.
COVID-19 Impact on Goa Tourism
Meanwhile, Goa is still suffering impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. Some coronavirus restrictions were lessened. But no alcohol will be served between Feb. 12 through 15 at bars or hotels under a new government regulation. It is impacting the tourist trade.
For instance, Zuri White Sands, Goa Resort & Casino reports lower than normal reservations for Valentine’s Day, which falls on Feb. 14, the Times of India reported. Still, reservations did marginally increase from past periods.
The Valentine’s Day period traditionally has been a popular time for tourists to enjoy nightlife in Goa. But a 45-day restriction was enacted surrounding upcoming elections, the Times said.
International Flights to India Remain Suspended
At the end of December, thousands of tourists from India visited Goa’s beaches and bars to celebrate the New Year, Reuters reported.
India has also suspended commercial flights from foreign nations. The suspension will continue through Feb. 28.
In addition, Goa’s casinos, hotels, and restaurants were told in December they could only let in visitors with vaccination certificates or a negative result on a COVID test, the report added.