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NIA conducts multi-state searches as part of probe in Laos human trafficking

Victims proficient in English were lured through social media channels and fraudulently sent to Laos, where they were forced to work in fake call centers, the NIA said.
Last Updated : 28 June 2024, 16:48 IST

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New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Friday conducted searches at multiple locations in Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan to identify the complicity of various suspects in the Laos human trafficking and cyber fraud case.

Five locations in the two states and the national capital were subjected to thorough searches by the NIA teams as part of the agency's crackdown on individuals/travel agents involved in the trafficking of vulnerable youth from India to the Golden Triangle SEZ in Laos, an official statement said.

The searches led to the seizure of incriminating materials including digital devices and documents etc., it said.

The targeted locations were premises associated with aides and offices of the key accused, Balwant alias Bobby Kataria, the NIA said in the statement.

NIA investigations have revealed that the suspects were allegedly handling the victims in trafficking, and also managing their logistics and recruitment to a cyber fraud company at Laos.

The human trafficking syndicate under the scanner was operating from Gurugram and other regions within and outside India, the probe agency said.

It was related to the recruitment, transportation and transfer of the victims from India to the Golden Triangle SEZ in Laos.

Initial investigations in the case, originally registered by the Gurugram police and taken over by the NIA earlier this month, have revealed that the suspects whose premises were searched Friday had been working for accused Balwant alias Bobby Kataria, owner of MBK Global Visa Pvt Ltd in Delhi, Haryana, and Rajasthan.

They were instrumental in enticing youth with the promise of lucrative jobs in foreign countries, the statement said.

Victims proficient in English were lured through social media channels and fraudulently sent to Laos, where they were forced to work in fake call centers, the NIA said.

They were physically abused and their travel documents were taken away if they refused to cooperate, it said.

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Published 28 June 2024, 16:48 IST

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