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CBI busts network linked to trafficking Indians to Russia-Ukraine war zone

Source: PTI
March 08, 2024 00:37 IST
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The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday busted a major human trafficking network that took Indian youngsters to the Russia-Ukraine war zone in the garb of providing them jobs abroad, officials said.

IMAGE: Ukrainian soldiers fire a cannon during intense shelling on the front line in Bakhmut. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

They said the agency has found 35 instances in which youngsters were taken to Russia after being lured with false promises of high-paying jobs via social media channels and local contacts and agents.


Efforts are underway to identify the victims, the officials said.

In a statement in New Delhi, a CBI spokesperson said the trafficked Indian nationals were trained in combat roles and deployed across front bases in the Russia-Ukraine war zone against their wishes, putting their lives in danger.

The federal agency has registered an FIR against some visa consultancy firms and agents. It was followed by searches in 13 locations across Delhi, Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai, Ambala, Chandigarh, Madurai and Chennai.

"The human trafficking network of these agents is spread over several states across the country and they are operating in an organised manner," the spokesperson said.

The central probe agency has booked 24x7 RAS Overseas Foundation in Delhi and its director Suyash Mukut, OSD Bros Travels & Visa Services Pvt Ltd in Mumbai and its director Rakesh Pandey, Adventure Visa Services Pvt Ltd in Chandigarh and its director Manjeet Singh, and Baba Vlogs Overseas Recruitment Solutions Pvt Ltd in Dubai and its director Faisal Abdul Mutalib Khan alias Baba.

"It has been ascertained that some of the victims also suffered grievous injuries in the war zone," the official said.

"So far, cash worth over Rs 50 lakh, incriminating documents and electronic records like laptops, mobiles, desktops and CCTV footage have been seized. Searches are going on. Certain suspects have also been detained for questioning at various locations," he added.

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