5 more held in France child traf­fick­ing case

Ac­cused worked as car­ri­ers; were paid R1 lakh to pose as par­ents of teenaged kids

Mid Day - - CITY - SAN­TOSH WAGH mail­bag@mid-day.com

THE anti-rob­bery and da­coity squad of the po­lice have dented a ma­jor child traf­fick­ing racket with the ar­rest of five more peo­ple, who al­legedly lured over 95 chil­dren to travel to France with the prom­ise of se­cur­ing their fu­ture. The same squad has un­til now ar­rested around 25 ac­cused in the case, in­clud­ing the mas­ter­mind from Pun­jab.

In April this year, act­ing on a tip-off, the po­lice had laid a trap at Ter­mi­nal 2 of Ch­ha­tra­p­ati Shivaji In­ter­na­tional Air­port, and ar­rested two men and a woman, who were leav­ing the coun­try with four teenaged boys. Ac­cord­ing to the po­lice, the scam­sters, who al­legedly be­long to the Bol­ly­wood in­dus­try, lured par­ents of teenaged boys into send­ing them abroad with the prom­ise of pro­vid­ing good ed­u­ca­tion and even­tu­ally a na­tional cit­i­zen­ship. The po­lice re­cently ar­rested Poonam Be­hen­wal, 38, her hus­band Raj, 45, Ki­ran Lim­bagiya, 48, Ka­mal Shah, 50, and Vi­jay Paswan, 50. The ac­cused worked as car­ri­ers. Their job was to make pass­ports us­ing fake doc­u­ments and then pose as par­ents of the chil­dren, who were be­ing taken to France. Once the kids reached their des­ti­na­tion, the ac­cused would de­stroy their pass­ports. “The car­ri­ers would get around a lakh per child. The po­lice have so far man­aged to res­cue four teenage boys, while the ac­cused have suc­cess­fully sent around 95 teenagers to France,” a po­lice source said.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors sus­pect in­volve­ment of an­other one dozen peo­ple from In­dia in the in­ter­na­tional racket.

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