The Indira Gandhi International Airport police have arrested a man who is allegedly part of one of the biggest human trafficking rackets uncovered in India recently.
Adil Vali Mohammed, 38, has been accused of smuggling Indians into the United States and Canada through Guatemala (Central America).
The kingpin of this trafficking racket is one Pali alias Ronnie, a Canadian national of Indian origin, who is currently based in Guatemala. Ronnie hails from Jalandhar, Punjab.
According to the police, Indian human traffickers have not been known to use the Central American route till now.
A 'carrier', Mohammed was caught with 31 passports of Indian citizens who went along with him to Guatemala. A computer graduate, he had earlier worked as a salesman in Dubai.
On his return to Mumbai, Mohammed opened a computer hardware repair shop. It's where he got in touch with other associates of the racket, who promised to take Indians to the United States (US) on payment of R30 lakh.
On his return from Guatemala, Mohammed was found in possession of 31 passports. "The recovery of such a large number of passports was alarming," said OP Mishra, DCP, IGI Airport.
Mohammed also revealed how a network of carrier agents and middlemen, based at points of origin and final destinations, were involved in human trafficking.
"Everybody had been assigned specific roles and were paid a handsome amount by the kingpin of the racket. With his arrest, a new route for human trafficking, in which Indian citizens were sent to Mexico, Canada and the US illegally by the 'safer' route, through Guatemala, has been uncovered," Mishra said.
Out of the 31 passengers from India, 29 were from Gujarat and two hailed from Punjab.
The police said that local agents, Jayesh Desai and Manish Patel of Ahmedabad, organised the journeys of all these passengers.
The local agents further got their journey arranged allegedly with the help of agents Kamal and Billa of Delhi and Tajudin and Zakir of Mumbai.