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Human trafficking to Russia-Ukraine war: CBI arrests 4

Human trafficking to Russia-Ukraine war: CBI arrests 4

New Delhi: In the case of alleged human trafficking of Indians to the Russia-Ukraine war zone, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested four people, including a contractual translator in the Russian Defence Ministry, PTI reported.

Two of the arrestees, identified as Arun and Yesudas Junior alias Priyan, were from Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram, and the remaining two were Nijil Jobi Bensam, a contractual employee in the Russian Defence Ministry, and Anthony Michael Elangovan, a resident of Mumbai. CBI said in a late-night statement that the latter two, who were arrested on April 24, are in judicial custody. The former two were arrested on Tuesday.

"Accused Nijil Jobi Bensam was working in the Russian Defence Ministry on a contract basis as a Translator and was one of the key members of the network operating in Russia for facilitating recruitment of Indian nationals in the Russian Army," an official aware of the development said.

According to the probe agency, Micheal Anthony facilitated his co-accused Faisal Baba, based in Dubai and others based in Russia, in getting the visa processing done in Chennai and booking the air tickets for victims to go to Russia. The two arrested from Thiruvananthapuram were the main recruiters of Indian nationals, hailing from Kerala and Tamil Nadu, for the Russian Army.

CBI informed us that there could be more arrests. Officials claimed that the agency had busted a major racket of travel agents who lured Indian youths with the pretext of opportunities in Russia and pushed them into the war zone after confiscating their passports.

CBI's FIR has 17 visa consultancy companies listed with their owners and agents spread across India. The probe agency booked them under Indian Penal Code sections related to criminal conspiracy, cheating, and human trafficking.

The agents also duped students by facilitating their admissions to dubious private universities in Russia instead of government or public universities by offering discounted fees and visa extensions.

The CBI has found 35 instances where youngsters were taken to Russia after being lured with false promises of high-paying jobs via social media channels and local contacts and agents.

"The trafficked Indian Nationals were trained in combat roles and deployed at front bases in the Russia - Ukraine War Zone against their wishes, thus putting their lives in grave danger. It has been ascertained that some of the victims also got grievously injured in the war zone," the Spokesperson said.

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TAGS:CBIhuman traffickingUkraine warIndia
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