Human trafficking kingpin nabbed, 26 girls rescued

Human trafficking kingpin nabbed, 26 girls rescued

Human trafficking kingpin nabbed, 26 girls rescued
The kingpin of an international human trafficking racket that was spread across the country as well as in Nepal, Oman and Kuwait has been arrested along with his accomplice and 26 girls have been rescued, police said today. The accused, Shabin Shah and his associate Bidya Lama were arrested from Roopnagar and Patiala House Court respectively, said Ravindra Yadav, joint commissioner of police (crime).

Two Nepalese women filed a complaint with the Crime Branch alleging that they were brought to New Delhi from Nepal by one Ramu Choudhary and Shah on the pretext of providing jobs in Gulf countries, said the officer adding that they were kept in confinement in Mahipalpur area for more than 10 days and their passports were also seized by the accused.

They managed to escape on September 1 and reached the Nepal Embassy that directed them to Delhi Police. After a team was formed under the overall supervision of Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) K K Vyas, a raid was conducted at the place where the women were held hostage and 20 women were rescued, said Yadav.

Bidya Lama, who ran the shelter home in Mahipalpur and kept women in confinement, was arrested from Patiala House Court, said the officer. Bidya then gave clues about Shah, the alleged kingpin of the racket and he was arrested on September 4 from his house in Roop Nagar. Two passports belonging to victims and five mobile phones were recovered. Three Nepalese women and one Indian woman was rescued from his house, added the officer.

During interrogation, it emerged that Shah was the mastermind of the racket that was running since 2011 and he had rented properties in Mahipalpur and Roopnagar where women were kept in confinement, he said. Delhi was the hub as well as the transit point from where girls were sold and trafficked to Gulf countries, he said.

"He claims to have sent around 1,500 women belonging to India and Nepal to Gulf countries illegally till now. He has a number of agents, who are active in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Oman, Kuwait, Dubai and India," said Yadav. The racket used to target married, illiterate and poor women of Nepal and northeast India, said the officer adding that the agents based in Nepal used to lure the women on the pretext of providing jobs abroad, police said.

After the victims would arrange the money and passports, they would be sent to Delhi and held hostage. "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 would obtain tourist visa for Sri Lanka," said Yadav.

After reaching Colombo, the women were sent to Gulf countries through employment visas, said the officer adding that the agents used to charge close to Rs 60,000 per woman for travelling to Delhi, visa for Sri Lanka, Gulf countries and air tickets for Colombo and Dubai.

After that, these women were provided jobs as housemaids or work in shopping malls, restaurants, and hospitals. After providing jobs, the agents used to take Rs 5,000 per month as commission.

The commission was further distributed to Delhi-based agents. There is a complete chain and understanding between agents based in Nepal, Delhi, Sri Lanka and Gulf countries. The employment visa of Sri Lanka and Gulf countries was obtained online by agents based in the Gulf, said the officer.

"In July, Shah sent 12 Nepali women to Sri Lanka on tourist visas for further transmission to Dubai. Thirty-six Nepalese women were also sent to Colombo alongwith those 12 women. All the 48 women were confined to a hotel by the agents. One of the girls lodged a police report in Colombo," said Yadav. The Nepal police has also rescued few girls in Kathmandu and a case has been registered there against Shah.
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