Mangaluru: Castelino Couple from Karkala Arrested for Sending Prohibited Drug to Kuwait

Mangaluru: Incessant efforts by an aggrieved homemaker to get her husband released from a Kuwaiti jail have borne fruit to some extent, with the arrest of a couple who got the man into trouble by sending prohibited drug to the Gulf country with him.

Richard Louis Castelino and his wife Justine Castelino from Karkala have been arrested by a special squad deputed by the western range inspector general of police Amrit Pal. Richard has been charged with holding two passports and his wife faces the charge of sending medicinal tablets, which have been banned in Kuwait, through a neighbour, Melwin Fernandes, who carried them in good faith.

Desktop​Richard Castelino                  Justine Castelino

Melwin was arrested by the Kuwaiti authorities upon arrival. He pleaded innocence by explaining that he only wanted to help his neighbours back home, who had told him that they were badly needed by Richard in Kuwait. On investigations, the Kuwaiti police found that the said Richard Castelino had long back been arrested in connection with the theft of a car and had been deported to India.

Melwin remained in jail in Kuwait for no fault of his and in return for a favour of carrying a supposedly life-saving drug for his neighbour. His wife Carol, in Karkala, consistently pursued the matter and ran from pillar to post to secure justice to her husband and have him released. She also came to know that Castelino had held two passports and brought this matter to the attention of the Karkala police.

She met CM Siddaramaiah, state minister U T Khader, former MP Oscar Fernandes, MP Veerappa Moily, Union minister D V Sadananda Gowda and others seeking help in the matter. They assisted her in contacting the Union ministry of external affairs.

In the meantime, Melwin had already spent nine months in a Kuwaiti jail. Thereafter, Carol met IGP Pal in Mangaluru requesting for his help. On the IGP’s orders, a fresh case was filed in the court. He also handed over the case to the charge of DySP Dr Venkatesh Prasanna for investigation.

Dr Prasanna traced the remittances to Justine’s account, wherein money was being received from one Roshan Crasta from Kuwait regularly. Tracking down the NEFT remittances to Canara Bank and the remitting agency, Dollarco Money Exchange in Kuwait, a copy of Roshan Crasta’s ID card was obtained.

The photograph matched Richard Castelino’s. Hence it was confirmed that the same person held two passports. Richard and Justine were arrested by Dr Prasanna’s team on Sep 17.

But the punishment which may be handed out after years of court proceedings to the Castelino couple can only be a deterrent. It cannot bring back the precious time of life spent in jail by Melwin nor can be a reparation for the agony underwent by the Fernandes couple.

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  1. It would be interesting to know how this peaceful character managed to get two passports. There was this novel by Thomas Hardy ‘Mayor of Caster Bridge’ which is a classic. The main character gets imprisoned for life for a murder that he did not commit.

  2. For a law-abiding citizen to get one passport is difficult, unless he is a character like Lalit Modi, who has the required politicians in his back-pockets. I have heard that people have to run after police, kilao-them, pilao-them.

    So, how did Richard Castelino manage to hoodwink the police? She deserves a medal from the Central or State Governments.

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