New Delhi: Delhi Police have arrested a 52-year-old man and his woman accomplice for running an international human trafficking racket, and rescued 26 women who were to be trafficked to Gulf countries via Sri Lanka, police said on Wednesday.
Shabin Shah, the kingpin, was arrested on Sunday from Roop Nagar in north district while his woman associate Bidya Lama, 34, was arrested from the same area on Saturday.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Ravindra Yadav said two Nepalese women had complained to the Crime Branch on September 1 informing “they were brought to New Delhi by Shah and Ramu Choudhary, both residents of Nepal, on the allurement of providing them jobs in Gulf countries and were kept in Mahipalpur area for more than 10 days in confinement”.
The women alleged in their complaint that their passports were also seized by the accused and their movement was strictly restricted. The women somehow escaped from the flat in which they were confined and with the help of some Nepali contacts in Delhi reached the Nepal Embassy, which directed them to approach Delhi Police.
The officer said they were tracking the gang’s activities following the complaint lodged by the two women and Nepal Embassy.
Following a tip off, the officer said, two separate police teams rescued 20 women from a rented house in Mahipalpur in south Delhi and four women from Roop Nagar.
Sixteen of the women are residents of Nepal while 10 belong to West Bengal, the officer said. Most of them were married and belong to poor family.
The officer said the gang was spread across India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Dubai, Oman and Kuwait.
“They use Delhi as the hub and transit point for this racket.”
Shah has rented premises at Mahipalpur and Roop Nagar for receiving, lodging and transferring women. His associate Bidya Lama, a resident of West Bengal, used to work as a care taker of these premises and was an active member of the gang.
Shah informed police that he had been in the human trade business since 2011 and has trafficked more than 1,500 women to Gulf countries so far.
The gang used to target married, illiterate and poor women of Nepal, West Bengal and northeast India.
“The agents based in Nepal lure the women with providing employment in Gulf countries and handsome salary. The women are asked to get their passports made and arrange money for expenditure for the journey and employment. After crossing the India-Nepal border, these women got shelter in Shah’s rented premises in Delhi,” the officer said.
He said there was 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 the Sri Lanka route and obtained tourist visa for these women and avoid the checking in India.
After reaching Sri Lanka, the women are sent to Gulf countries through employment visa. For this, the agents used to charge Rs 50,000 to 60,000 per woman for travelling to Delhi, visa for Sri Lanka, Gulf countries and air tickets for Sri Lanka and Dubai. After that, the women were provided jobs as house maids in homes or work in shopping malls, restaurants and hospitals.
“Shah used to get Rs 5,000 as commission every month for each woman employed in the Gulf,” the officer said.
The officer said that Sri Lanka Police registered a case against Shah after they rescued 48 women from the clutches of this gang in Colombo in July.