Police bust child trafficking racket
Seven held in Chennai, one in the U.K., for trafficking to Europe and the U.S.
The city police have busted a child trafficking racket run out of Chennai and Delhi airports. A woman passenger who is suspected to have indulged in the crime seven times has been arrested. The connivance of some immigration officers is suspected. The breakthrough followed an input from the Foreigners’ Regional Registration office, Chennai.
The Chennai city police have busted a human trafficking racket run out of Chennai and Delhi airports. A woman passenger who is suspected to have indulged in the crime seven times using Indian passports has been arrested. The connivance of some immigration officers is suspected.
The breakthrough followed an input from the Foreigners’ Regional Registration office, Chennai.
The matter came to light a week ago when A.K. Singh, Assistant Foreigners’ Regional Registration Officer, received an input about Haru Manju Datta, who was bound for the United Kingdom accompanied by a person who was under 18 years, impersonating her own son, also bound for the U.K., through the Chennai international airport.
According to police sources, Haru Manju Datta had since been arrested by the authorities in the U.K.
“There is prima facie evidence of Haru Manju Datta being involved in child trafficking in connivance with agents and immigration officers in Chennai and Delhi airports,” said K. Rajesh Kanna, an investigation officer with the Fake Passport Team, Central Crime Branch.
The CCB has arrested seven persons including two immigration officials. They are D. Jayasingh and R. Stephan of Chennai. Also nabbed are agents S. Vinothkumar, D. Tamilmaran, D. Jeppiar and M. Natarajan. They reportedly charged ₹6 lakh each and sent persons to the U.K., the U.S. and European countries.
An enquiry was conducted verifying records in the system and CCTV footage. From the CCTV footage the police found that at 3.26 a.m. on April 9, Haru Manju accompanied by a boy impersonator entered the immigration departure hall of Chennai airport. They crossed the queue manager and went directly to counter 21 manned by D. Jayasingh, immigration officer.
The CCTV footage was shown to the source, who confirmed the presence of two agents in the visitors’ gallery who were reportedly giving directions over the phone.
Police said it was the responsibility of the immigration counter officer to check the previous travel records of a passenger before giving clearance. In this case, the inconsistencies were overlooked by the counter officer.
A police source said, “Whenever there is no corresponding arrival for a departure, the system will give an alert thus: “Corresponding arrival/ departure records missing in immigration data. Please scrutinise immigration records carefully and take necessary action if anything adverse is noticed.”
In this case, the passport had been used seven times by Haru Manju Datta for a child. On all seven occasions, only the departure stamp was there and no corresponding arrival stamp. “It showed that trafficking had been done by Haru Manju Datta in connivance with immigration officers and agents,” a source said.