CBI arrests two people in Russia-Ukraine human trafficking case

Russia-Ukraine war
Image Source : PTI/FILE PHOTO Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team at site.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has apprehended two individuals from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, in connection with a human trafficking network allegedly involved in sending individuals to the war zone between Russia and Ukraine. While the identities of the arrested individuals remain undisclosed, further arrests are anticipated, according to officials.

Cracking down on trafficking racket

The arrests follow the CBI’s uncovering of a significant racket orchestrated by travel agents. These agents reportedly enticed Indian youths with promises of opportunities in Russia but ultimately coerced them into the war zone between Russia and Ukraine by confiscating their passports.

Scope of the investigation

The CBI’s investigation, outlined in its FIR, implicates 17 visa consultancy firms, along with their proprietors and agents located across India. Charges filed against them include criminal conspiracy, cheating, and human trafficking under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.

Exploitation of Indian nationals

The accused individuals, through their agents, allegedly trafficked Indian nationals to Russia under pretenses, promising lucrative jobs in the Russian army, security, and other fields. These victims were charged exorbitant sums of money for these opportunities, only to find themselves stranded in Russia, their passports confiscated, and coerced into joining the armed forces after undergoing combat training.

Deception of students

Furthermore, the traffickers targeted students, deceiving them with admissions to questionable private universities in Russia instead of reputable government institutions. These students, enticed by discounted fees and promises of visa extensions, found themselves at the mercy of local agents upon arrival in Russia.

Social media facilitation

The CBI’s investigation has revealed that the traffickers utilised social media platforms and local networks to lure unsuspecting individuals with false promises of lucrative employment opportunities. A total of 35 cases have been identified where individuals were trafficked to Russia under such deceitful pretences.

As the investigation progressed, the CBI remained committed to dismantling this nefarious network and bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Also read | Phase 3 records 61.45 per cent polling till 8 pm, Assam sees highest, Maharashtra lowest. State-wise data