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Human trafficking: CBI chargesheets former MEA official
Sumir Kaul in New Delhi | December 30, 2007 15:33 IST
The Central Bureau of Investigation has chargesheeted senior diplomat and former special secretary in External Affairs Ministry Rakesh Kumar for allegedly being involved in human trafficking.
The CBI filed the chargesheet against Kumar, a 1972 batch Indian Foreign Service officer, and certain others including an official of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations for allegedly entering into a criminal conspiracy and sending people abroad on false pretexts, official sources said on Sunday.
The chargesheet was filed in the court of duty Magistrate Kamini Lau recently after the CBI received sanction for Kumar's prosecution from the Ministry of External Affairs.
The MEA had been provided with the report of the superintendent of police in July this year and the sanction came only after reminders were sent for expediting the decision for Kumar's prosecution.
Besides Kumar, CBI chargesheeted Programme Officer of ICCR Kehkeshan Tyagi, owner of a Punjabi dance troupe Har Gulab Singh and Shiv Kumar Sharma, the sources said, adding Sharma allegedly acted as a conduit and took lakhs of rupees for sending people abroad.
In its chargesheet, the CBI alleged that Kumar, during his tenure as Director General of ICCR, and Tyagi had entered into a criminal conspiracy with Singh and Sharma to facilitate trafficking of nine individuals to Germany [Images].
The modus operandi adopted by the accused was to send nine people to Berlin along with a dance troupe. On arrival, these people disappeared and later filed applications seeking political asylum under changed names.
The CBI had registered a case against Kumar in March last year when he was Special Secretary (Economic Relations) in the External Affairs Ministry.
Kumar, Tyagi, Singh and Sharma were chargesheeted under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of Indian Penal Code and 13(i)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act.
The CBI alleged that the officials indulged in human trafficking for personal monetary gains.
The residence of Kumar, the office and residential premises of Tyagi, the residences of Sharma and Singh in Ludhiana and Chandigarh were raided by the CBI on March 29, 2006.
Kumar, who was asked to cut short his visit to South America following the CBI raids at his residence, was quizzed by sleuths of the investigative agency's Special Crime Branch.
Kumar delayed his return to the country by getting himself admitted at a hospital in Munich. Finally, in May last year, he was questioned.
The CBI is also probing the alleged financial irregularities committed during Kumar's tenure as Director General of ICCR.