Scarlett's murder in Goa - Daily Mail 30.03.2008

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Scarlett's murder in Goa - Daily Mail 30.03.2008

Postby NeverPebbles » Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:49 pm

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/a ... ge_id=1811

The very sinister cover-up behind Scarlett's murder in Goa

By NATALIE CLARKE

Last updated at 23:00pm on 30th March 2008

Shattered dreams: Murdered teenager Scarlett Keeling

They pulled down Lui's shack a couple of weeks ago and now only the foundations remain, a hotpotch of wooden blocks poking out of the sand.

Behind the shack - one of many shabby bars lining the beachside resort of Anjuna - there is a sandy path which cuts through some bushes.

Today the pathway is littered with rubbish, a discarded sandal, sweet wrappers, an old beaded necklace, a flyer advertising something called "Black Mischief".

A few yards away is a tiny chapel, its shrine dirtied and abandoned.

The profane and the sacred, side by side, symbolic of Goa's uneasy mix of conservative

Catholicism and easy sex and drugs. Lui's shack was where 15-year-old Scarlett Keeling from Devon spent her last night before her rape and murder. The pathway behind it is where her body, semi-naked, was found last month.

Demolishing the bar was a way of trying to erase the memory of Scarlett's death, of pretending that the dark undercurrent running through Anjuna does not exist.


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An outdoor rave in Goa where Scarlett was brutally murdered

Weeping: Scarlett's mother Fiona MacKeown wept as her coffin began its long journey back to Britain

Anjuna is meant to be paradise on earth and on the surface at least, that's how it looks, with its long stretch of golden sand, elegant palms and seductive heat.

In the Sixties the hippies came to Goa in search of peace and love and they lived out their days here in a lazy, hashish-induced haze.

But there's an edge now. Heroin, ecstasy, cocaine, the horse tranquilliser ketamine - they're as easy to buy on Anjuna beach as a cold beer.

At the Paradiso club one young Londoner in her early 20s, drink in hand, is alone on the dance floor enjoying a one-woman party in the way that only those who are blind drunk, drugged senseless, or both, can do.

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Murdered: Scarlett Keeling in the weeks before she died

Scarlett with boyfriend Julio Lobo, ten years her senior


What is she in Anjuna for? "To get off my t**s!," she squeals before collapsing in giggles and staggering off back to the dance floor. Scarlett's death, it seems, has changed nothing.

As I leave Paradiso, a tall, thin man emerges from nowhere. "What would you like? I can get you anything you want, hashish, cocaine, ecstasy .. . "

He says it will cost me 1,000 rupees - about £12 - for 10g of hashish, or 2,000 rupees for a gram of cocaine. It's cheap and this, for many, is what Anjuna is all about.

But you have to be careful about buying drugs in Anjuna, and not just for the obvious reasons. According to the locals, over the past year, young Western women have been the target of a terrifying scam.

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No accident: Mother Fiona MacKeown has fought for justice after her daughter Scarlett's body was found with more than 50 wounds

Scarlett Keeling, second left, with friends - including boyfriend Julio Lobo, far right


It's simple. A woman is lying on the beach sunbathing when she is approached by a drug pedlar who offers her a large bag of hashish at a ridiculously low price of, say, 20 rupees.

She might not have taken drugs before, but people are openly smoking hashish in the beach-side shacks and it seems harmless enough.

A couple of hours later she gets up and starts to head back to her hotel but is intercepted by a group of uniformed narcotics officers who search her and find the hashish.

They tell her she's looking at ten years in jail because she's carrying enough hash to be classed as a drug dealer. It's not looking good, they explain, but there may be a compromise.

Give us some money and allow us whatever sexual favours we choose and we'll forget the whole thing.

"It sounds unbelievable that they would get away with it, but you have to look at what will happen to the girl if she is prosecuted," said a source.

"It will potentially destroy her family and career - and then you're looking at many years in a prison in a foreign country. It is a terrifying thought.

"So some young women just do what is asked of them because the alternative is just too terrible. "We know it's happening because the officers involved boast about it afterwards in the bars. They have rooms at the back of the shacks which they use for the assaults. I've heard there have been about 17 cases in the past year."

Nor is this the only danger for lone women on the beach at Anjuna. Another local told me that one day last November, a young Australian woman was relaxing at sunset when she was surrounded by a group of men and raped.

When she went to the police they told her there would be no point pursuing the case because there was no chance of catching the men.

Whether they would have, we will never know, but it seems some Goan police are more interested in protecting the tourist trade - and their own drug scams - than solving crime.

There have been reports recently that Anjuna's lucrative drugs scene has been taken over by a Russian mafia.

"That's rubbish," says a source. "It's run locally but, whenever things get a bit hot, those involved start talking about Russians or Israelis to divert attention.

"The drugs mafia cannot survive without protection from the police. The police collect huge amounts of money in bribes. The officers in turn are protected by the politicians. It goes right to the top."

Fiona MacKeown, Scarlett's 43-yearold mother, has already alleged that there is a "strong drug nexus" between the drug mafia, local politicians and police chiefs.

One month after the murder, rumours, claims and counter-claims continue to circulate in Anjuna about Scarlett's death. The air is thick with secrets, lies and an almighty cover-up.

Have the police got the right men, and could there be more people involved?

Two men are in custody. Placido "Shana Boy" Carvalho, aged between 30 and 35, has appeared in court on suspicion of drugging Scarlett and thus assisting in her murder. Samson D'Souza, 28, has been remanded on suspicion of rape.

Let us retrace the events leading up the murder. Scarlett's mother Fiona had left her daughter in Anjuna, in the care of tour guide Julio Lobo and his two aunts, while she and the rest of the family went off to another "hippy" resort further south.

She claims she thought Scarlett and Lobo were just friends, although she later learned they were having a sexual relationship after reading her diary.

On Scarlett's last night, she went out with a friend called Ruby and was seen at the Bean Me Up cafe at 1.30am. Ruby went to bed and Scarlett was next seen at Lui's shack at around

3.30am on February 18 in an "intoxicated" state. The police say that there, "Shana Boy" Carvalho forced drugs on her - LSD, ecstasy and cocaine.

A local British man, Michael Mannion, known as Masala Mike, was at the bar. He has told friends he saw Scarlett leave the bar at around 4.30am with a man called Mooli.

Five minutes later, D'Souza went outside, and when Mannion left 15 minutes after that he saw Samson lying on top of Scarlett in the sand. She did not appear to be fighting him off, so he did not intervene.

Mooli was nearby on his scooter, making a phone call on his mobile. (Since the murder Mooli has kept a very low profile and nobody seems to know where he is.)

One tantalising theory is suggested in a letter that popped up in Goa's Herald newspaper a few days ago, which talks of a "VIP link" to the murder.

Locals allege that the relative of a local politician was at a club called Curly's, which was one of her favourite haunts, on the night that Scarlett died.

"The opposition leader of Goa has rightly asked for a CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) inquiry as there seems to be a VIP link to the murder and drug mafia," the writer contends.

"Telephone calls from the shacks to the VIP's son when Scarlett was alive and was partying at the shacks along with Samson D'Souza and Shana Boy must also be re-examined by the CBI.

"It is rumoured that a VIP's son may have been called [to] the party the night before Scarlett was found dead in the morning."

The letters goes on to say there were rumours that Shana Boy withdrew 1.1 million rupees (£14,000) from a bank after the murder.

Why, if this is true, would Shana Boy have withdrawn such a large sum of money? And how did he have ready access to that sort of money?

"It would have been to give a backhander to the police, of course, to cover up what had happened," says one local.

"Around here you only have access to that sort of money if you are involved in the drugs racket. It is possible that Shana Boy was operating on the instructions of someone higher up than him, his boss.

"There is much more to this case than meets the eye."

Right from the start, there can be no doubt, there was a cover-up. After Scarlett's body was found in the morning it was announced that Scarlett had drowned.

Yet the bruises all over her body - 25 inflicted before death and 22 postmortem - made it obvious that Scarlett struggled with all her might to stay alive.

Photographs taken by her mother after the first postmortem to prove she was raped and murdered tell a harrowing story.

Heavy bruising on her forehead indicates she was punched and her head smashed against the ground. A severe bruise on her lower leg is indicative, sources say, of an injury inflicted by a lathi, the hard bamboo stick carried by policemen.

One of the most telling indications of the brutality of the crime is the absence of Scarlett's toe ring on her right foot.

This type of wire ring - favoured by hippy travellers - is virtually impossible to remove and suggests that someone tugged at her foot with some violence.

After the murder, the Goan authorities were quick to shift attention on to the murdered girl's mother, Fiona MacKeown, who had been in Goa since last November with her boyfriend, Rob Clarke, and eight of her nine children.

Fiona, 43, has been repeatedly criticised for leaving her daughter alone and accused of neglect by Goan authorities - though she says she says she believed Scarlett to be safe and was simply naive.

With her "New Age" look and "alternative" lifestyle back home in Devon, Fiona was an easy target, and she has been mercilessly vilified, but she refused to go quietly and insisted on a second post-mortem, which found Scarlett was indeed murdered.

Earlier this week she learned that her daughter died after her head was forcibly held under water for five to ten minutes.

The report concluded that Scarlett died of "homicidal drowning" and not of a drugs or alcohol overdose. "It's been shock after shock," she says.

"I have nine children which makes you strong and there has been a lot to do. When I have nothing to do but think - it's very hard. She really fought for her life and I think about that all the time."

How does she feel about all the criticism of her for leaving Scarlett?

"I'm not surprised, really. Look at what's been said about Madeleine McCann's mother, and she is the picture of elegance."

Fiona has remained in Goa to stay close to the investigation, and is awaiting results from forensic tests that will show how many men raped her daughter. They are due "soon" but how long that will be is anyone's guess.

She wants the case to be taken over by the Goan central police force, believing it to be the only way there will be a possibility of independence in the inquiry.

She has been told her request is being considered, but isn't hopeful. "I feel they're just playing for time. I think the cover up is much bigger than any of us realised."

If Fiona is told the investigation file will not be handed over to federal agents, she will challenge the decision at the High Court in Goa.

Over the past couple of weeks, Fiona has been warned by locals to be careful and has kept the details of where she is staying secret:

"It wouldn't take much for the people behind the cover up to get at me. The drug gangs have a lot of money and power."

Fiona - who split up from her boyfriend, Rob, a few weeks ago because of the strain of the murder - is refusing to stay quiet and the case has cast a pall over the tourist trade.

While some are partying as if nothing has changed, three British university students I met in Anjuna this week said they no longer felt safe and were aware of an "atmosphere" in the resort.

They were having drinks in Curly's bar but the mood was strange, almost threatening.

"There's an edge, you can feel it," said Josie Self, 20, who is on holiday with her friends Lucy Boadem and Charlotte Turner-Smith, also 20.

"When we're on the beach Indian men come and sit very near us and smile and stare which makes us feel uncomfortable."

On the beach the next day I came across Beth Reid, 24, a local government officer from London, and Claire Hathaway, a 25-year-old civil servant from Devon.

"We were warned at the airport to be careful, that it wasn't safe," said Beth.

"We decided not to go out last night because we felt uneasy about what people are saying."

On Thursday morning Fiona, desperate to bring Scarlett home, returned to the mortuary to reclaim her daughter's body.

But the body had deteriorated and it was a deeply traumatic experience. Fiona, pulling her shawl over her mouth and nose wept. "I can't stand it in here, I can't stand the smell," she said.

Afterwards, Scarlett's body was transferred to Mumbai - India's largest city - because the local morgue is full. The journey to Mumbai was without dignity.

A small ambulance took Scarlett's coffin, poking precariously out of the back door of the vehicle because it was too big.

Fiona is expected to fly into Britain this afternoon, accompanying her daughter's body on a scheduled flight.

And she will weep bitter tears as she reflects that her Goan dream was not supposed to turn out like this.
'They've taken her!'
Who, Kate? Who 'took' your daughter?
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Re: Scarlett's murder in Goa - Daily Mail 30.03.2008

Postby miffed » Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:07 pm

How does she feel about all the criticism of her for leaving Scarlett?

"I'm not surprised, really. Look at what's been said about Madeleine McCann's mother, and she is the picture of elegance."

Is Fiona comparing herself to 'Madeleine McCann's mother"? Now, why would she do that? :shock:
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Re: Scarlett's murder in Goa - Daily Mail 30.03.2008

Postby diddy » Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:05 am

miffed wrote:
How does she feel about all the criticism of her for leaving Scarlett?

"I'm not surprised, really. Look at what's been said about Madeleine McCann's mother, and she is the picture of elegance."

Is Fiona comparing herself to 'Madeleine McCann's mother"? Now, why would she do that? :shock:


It's not just that, the situations are completely different (IMO).
I never thought I'd say this, but I think leaving Scarlett was worse than the Mcs leaving their children, in the situations in which they were left.
Plus if the PJ are correct in what they think happened to Madeleine, then her being left didn't have a bearing on what happened, where as it more than likely did with Scarlett.
That's not that I at all condone the Mcs children being left, btw.
But of the two evils, it is perhaps the (slightly) lesser one.
The charade must go on.
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