Penury forced Rasheed into illegal trade | india | Hindustan Times
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Penury forced Rasheed into illegal trade

Mohammad Rasheed Ali, one of the accused in the human trafficking racket, got involved in it due to adverse circumstances, says the police, reports Vijaita Singh.

india Updated: Jun 02, 2007 10:24 IST
Vijaita Singh

Penury forced Mohammad Rasheed Ali, one of the accused in the human trafficking racket, to look for easy means to make quick bucks, the police said on Friday.

A Delhi police team brought Rasheed to the Capital from Hyderabad on Thursday night.

The trafficking racket was unearthed almost two months ago with the arrest of suspended BJP MP Babubhai Katara at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. Katara was smuggling a woman and a boy to Canada on the passport of his wife and son.

"Rasheed has told us that he is only a mediator and the real kingpin of the case is Raju Pitty," said a senior police officer.

The police had earlier said that Rasheed was the kingpin of the racket. Rasheed wanted to go to the US in 2002, and that's how he met a travel agent, Shakeel, in Hyderabad. "After coming in touch with Shakeel, he realised that it was a lucrative trade, so tried to dabble in it," said the officer.

Rasheed's father, who passed away a few years ago, had suffered huge losses in business.

The police said that Rasheed has sent only three persons, including two children, to the US, along with BSP MP Mohammad Tahir Khan in 2005.

Rasheed reportedly took Rs 2 lakh from the passengers. "It was on the recommendation of the MP that the visas of the passengers had been cleared and he accompanied them to the US," said the officer.

Rasheed met Sunder Lal Yadav, another accused in the case, through Ramanna Moorthy, the personal assistant of A Ravindran, a politician. "Rasheed knew Ravindran personally. After coming to Delhi, he met Sunder Lal Yadav," the officer said.

Rasheed told the police that he was even fleeced by Yadav, who charged him Rs 1.5 lakh for introduction to a Member of Parliament, which he never did.

The police informed a city court on Friday that Rasheed was in touch with Yadav on the mobile phone the day Katara was leaving for Canada.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kamini Lau sent Rasheed to seven days’ police custody.