Police crack major human trafficking racket

- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu
Police crack major human trafficking racket

Mar 17, 2015-

Police have busted a human trafficking racket that supplied young Nepali women to dance bars based in the Middle East and African countries.

The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police on Tuesday made public seven suspects who have been charged with human trafficking. Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Hemanta Malla Thakuri, the chief of CIB, said the suspects were arrested based on the information provided by the women who were rescued by the International Organization for Migration from Kenya.

Police listed the identities of the suspects as: Rajendra Khatri of Imadol, Lalitpur; Sabin Raja Manandhar of Kalopul, Kathmandu; Lalit Raj Singh Suwal of Bhaktapur; Sunil Adhikari of Lalitpur; Keder Bahadur Khadka of Sinamangal, Kathmandu; Nabin Dahal of Maitidevi, Kathmandu; and Tarun Rojan Khanagwal of New Delhi, India.  Khatri, who also owns a travel agency in Kathmandu, is believed to be the ringleader. He was released from jail only recently after being arrested on human trafficking case a year ago.

Besides trafficking women, police said, Khatri also has investments in dance bars in Nepal and Dubai.

Another suspect, Manandhar has also invested in dance bars in Kenya and Tanzania. He worked closely with Suwal, who also runs a computer hardware business.

Indian national Khanagwal had the responsibility of selecting the “right girls” while Dahal and Adhikari assisted him in the job, police said.

Like Khatri and Manandhar, Khanagwal, too, has investments in dance bars in Kenya and Tanzania. Khadka, who owns a hotel outside the Tribhuvan International Airport, made flight and departure arrangements.

Police said the suspects had built a large network over the years with known operations in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Malaysia, Oman, Bahrain and the UAE. They ran their enterprise as if it was a modelling agency, DIG Thakuri said. “They used to pick the girls, conduct photo shoots and then send their pictures to the agents in destination countries. After the girls were approved, the agents would send Rs 100,000 to Rs 200,000 as advance payment.”

Police have recovered 24 passports of women, their pictures taken by professional photographers, and Rs 90 million cash from the suspects.

Women were usually flown to the Middle East and African countries with forged documents. “Once the women reach their destinations, they are put to work in bars. Everyday, they are given an earning target that they have to meet,” DIG Thakuri said.

Many Nepali women have been trafficked to various countries in the Middle East and Africa where they work in dance bars under stressful condition.

In July 2014, the Post had run a story on the ordeal faced by young Nepali women working in dance bars in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Most of these dance bars are owned by migrant Indians.

 

Published: 18-03-2015 08:31

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