There is no drug mafia in Goa, but narcotics are smuggled into the tourist state for “trade, consumption and transit”, read Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s written reply to a query in the Goa Assembly on Wednesday.

“The drug dealers/suspects involved in narcotic activities operate in clandestine and well-organised manner,” the reply said, according to IANS. “Information on narcotic activities is collected through sources, raids are conducted, and perpetrators of these crimes are arrested.”

Parrikar is currently admitted to a hospital in Mumbai, where he is being treated for a pancreatic ailment. Goa Public Works Department Minister Sudin Dhavalikar addressed the queries to the chief minister and tabled his written replies in the Assembly on his behalf.

The chief minister’s statement came in response to a question from Congress MLAs Isidore Aleixinho Fernandes, Digambar Kamat, Wilfred D’sa, Clafasio Dias and Antonio Caetano Fernandes.

Members from various parties in the Goa Assembly debated on the drug trade during the ongoing Budget Session. They demanded that “a strict watch be kept on foreign students in Goa to curb the drug menace”, The Hindu reported. The legislators expressed concern that the narcotics problem was spreading in schools and colleges and was not confined to Goa’s coast alone.

In December 2017, Parrikar had said his government in Goa will set up a special squad to tackle the problem of drug trafficking in the tourist state. Soon after he took over as the chief minister of Goa in March, Parrikar had given “strict instructions” to the police to “crack down on drugs, prostitution and illegal gambling” seen at late night raves.