Human trafficking racket with Sri Lankan links busted in Telangana

A gang trafficking women — mostly from the two Telugu States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana — to Kuwait via other Indian cities and Sri Lanka, has been busted by Telangana police, The Hindu newspaper reported.

The gang made the international airport at Shamshabad as its main base but was trafficking people from other major international airports of the country.

The special teams, which caught the gang, stumbled upon evidence suggesting the complicity of a police constable in the racket.

They are also verifying reports that some members of the staff at the Immigration counter in the airport too have direct or indirect links with the racketeers.

“Involvement of these persons is being probed further,” a top police officer familiar with the busting of the racket said, unwilling to be quoted.

Members of the trafficking gang approached women intending to take up domestic or housekeeping jobs in Gulf countries. They lured them with baits of job visas and collected money from each woman.

Using an original job visa or work permit paper, the gang used to prepare a photo copy of the same.

With special software, a visit visa (incorporating details of the woman passenger concerned) was then created, which looked like the original one.

The woman passengers were then accommodated in hotels and ‘classes’ were conducted to familiarise them with the travel documents, police said.

Members of the gang then instructed the women to conceal the job visa or work permit papers (looking like the original one) before boarding the flight.

Presenting the visit visas, the women used to board the flights to Kuwait. After landing there, they submitted the job visa and would come out of the airport.

“Members of the gang colluded with a policeman to secure the mandatory Police Clearance Certificate for each of the woman passenger,” the police officer said.

The constable in question, who earlier worked with a police station in Cyberabad, had allegedly arranged the PCCs though the women did not reside originally in Cyberabad area. “Most of these women do not get proper jobs there and end up working for lesser wages and get exploited,” the police said.

Investigators also noticed that if the woman fails the mandatory physical fitness test for Kuwait visa, the gang flies them to Sri Lanka where the required certificates are arranged by the gang’s associates.

From there, they are flown to Kuwait. The police had already picked up more than 10 persons in connection with the racket.

Majority of the victims were from East Godavari, Krishna and Kadapa districts of Andhra Pradesh. (Colombo Gazette)

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