Friday, 9 September 2016

International human trafficking busted: kingpin from Nepal & female assistant from Jalpaiguri arrested


In a major breakthrough, Delhi Police’s Crime Branch has busted an international human trafficking racket spread across India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Dubai, Kuwait and Oman and rescued 26 women; including 10 Indian and 16 Nepalese nationals. The police have also arrested two persons – 52-year-old Nepalese citizen Shabin Shah alias Shobhin Keshi and his 34-year Indian associate Bidya Lama alias Laxmi – who are alleged kingpins of the racket. A resident of Jalpaigudi in West Bengal, Laxmi is said to be care taker of a shelter home which was allegedly being used for confinement of the victims. Two passports and boarding tickets of the victims have been seized from their possession along with six mobile phones. All rescued women, the police said, are major. Most of them are married and belong to “very poor family background”. They were brought on the allurement of providing jobs in Gulf countries, said the cops.
Modus Operandi During sustained interrogation of the rescued women and the arrested accused, said the police, it has been revealed that Keshi is the kingpin of the international human trafficking racket. “He (Keshi) had been running this racket since 2011 from a rented home at Mahipalpur and Roopnagar areas. The trafficked women were first brought here before being transferred abroad. He claims to have sent around 1,500 women belonging to India and Nepal to Gulf countries illegally so far. He has a number of agents, who are active in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Oman, Kuwait, Dubai and India,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav. Both the complainants, he said, were brought to Delhi and kept in a flat in Mahipalpur, which belongs to Laxmi who runs a shelter home there. “They (the complainants) were informed that their departure and employment in Dubai has been confirmed and that they will be sent soon from Delhi. When the two women reached Delhi, they were told that they had to go to Dubai on tourist visa via Colombo in Sri Lanka, where they had to stay for few days and then they would go to Dubai. This was contrary to the earlier promise that they would be sent to Dubai from Delhi directly. The accused also demanded huge sums of money from them. When the women refused, they were confined in a dark room. Meanwhile, the accused got tourist visa for the victims via Sri Lanka route and again asked for huge money. Sensing the danger, both women escaped from the flat finding an opportunity and reached Nepal Embassy which directed them to report the matter to Crime Branch,” he added.
This international human trafficking racket – according to him – targets, married, illiterate and poor women of Nepal and northeast India. The agents based in Nepal bring the women to Delhi on the promise of providing employment in Gulf countries and handsome salary. The interested women are asked to get prepared their passports and arrange money for expenditure incurred over these journey and employment. Once they reached Delhi, the victims used to get shelter in the rented accommodation of the accused at Mahipalpur and Roopnagar. Accused Bidya Lama looked after them and kept the women in confinement. “There is a strict provision in immigration rules of India and Nepal for grant of employment visa of Gulf countries for illiterate and poor women, hence, agents preferred Sri Lanka route and obtain tourist visa for these women and avoid the checking in India and prospective offloading,” he said. As per the Emigration Act 1983, Emigration Check Required (ECR) categories of Indian passport holders, require to obtain emigration clearance from the office of Protector of Emigrants (POE), Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs for going to following 18 countries – the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Malaysia, Libya, Jordon, Yemen, Sudan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Syria, Lebanon, Thailand and Iraq (emigration banned).
After reaching Colombo, said Yadav, the women are sent to Gulf countries through employment visa. For this, the agents used to charge Rs 50 to 60,000 per woman for travelling to Delhi, visa for Sri Lanka, Gulf countries and air tickets for Colombo and Dubai. Both the complainants, he said, were brought to Delhi and kept in a flat in Mahipalpur, which belongs to Laxmi who runs a shelter home there. “They (the complainants) were informed that their departure and employment in Dubai has been confirmed and that they will be sent soon from Delhi. When the two women reached Delhi, they were told that they had to go to Dubai on tourist visa via Colombo in Sri Lanka, where they had to stay for few days and then they would go to Dubai. This was contrary to the earlier promise that they would be sent to Dubai from Delhi directly. The accused also demanded huge sums of money from them. When the women refused, they were confined in a dark room. Meanwhile, the accused got tourist visa for the victims via Sri Lanka route and again asked for huge money. Sensing the danger, both women escaped from the flat finding an opportunity and reached Nepal Embassy which directed them to report the matter to Crime Branch,” he added. This international human trafficking racket – according to him – targets, married, illiterate and poor women of Nepal and northeast India. The agents based in Nepal bring the women to Delhi on the promise of providing employment in Gulf countries and handsome salary. The interested women are asked to get prepared their passports and arrange money for expenditure incurred over these journey and employment. Once they reached Delhi, the victims used to get shelter in the rented accommodation of the accused at Mahipalpur and Roopnagar. Accused Bidya Lama looked after them and kept the women in confinement. After registration of a case under sections 370/344/120B/506/509 of the IPC, he said, a dedicated team of Northern Range, Crime Branch, led by DCP Dr G Ram Gopal Naik was constituted under the overall supervision of Additional CP KK Vyas.
“A raid was conducted at a shelter home being run Mahipalpur area, where both the women were kept in confinement. We rescued 20 more women. All the women were produced in the Patiala House Court and were sent to Nari Niketan for their safety and rehabilitation,” he added. On August 4, the kingpin and prime accused Keshi was arrested from his premises in south-west Delhi’s Roopnagar locality at the instance of co-accused Laxmi who was earlier taken into custody. “Two passports belonging to victims and five mobile phones were recovered from his possession. Four more women, including three Nepalese and 1 Indian, were also rescued from his place,” he added. Profile Of The Accused Accused Keshi is married and has two wives in Kathmandu, Nepal. He has studied up to class 8. He first came to India in 1987 for business of clothes. In 2011, he started human trafficking. He has confessed that he has so far sent around 1,500 women belonging to Nepal and India to Gulf countries. He has travelled to Thailand and Dubai several times. He is living a lavish life style in Delhi and maintained two rented premises in prime locations of Delhi. Accused Bidya Lama is a divorcee and has two children. Her father is a farmer. She got education up to class 8. Around 4-5 years back, she was sent to Kuwait by accused Shabin Shah where she spent three years. She worked as domestic help there. After returning to India, she remained in constant touch with accused Shah and started helping him in providing shelter and confining women in Delhi. She used to get Rs 15,000 as salary. She has no previous involvement. (By Tarique Anwar India Times - Shared byr Ms. Pauline Rai)