Three people were arrested for human trafficking and allegedly swindling a 22-year-old man from Nashik of Rs3.50lakh — a sum they charged for promising him a merchant navy job in Dubai.
But what unfolded since April 2015 was nothing short of a nightmare for the victim, Bhushan Rajendra Jadhav: from selling off his land to pay the agents to a six-month confinement exacerbated by modern-day slavery in Iran.
The three men were identified as Shashi Bhushan Sharayu Singh, 36, Dhirajkumar alias Manojkumar Singh, 23, and Abhilash Korde, 23.
Jadhav, from Panchavati in Nashik, completed his diploma in nautical engineering from TS Chanakya, a Navi Mumbai institute.
In April 2015, while looking for a job, Jadhav was introduced to Shashi, the director of a recruitment agency at Kopri in Thane, said Ravindra Daundkar, senior police inspector in the anti-human trafficking cell, Thane. The agent promised a job in Dubai and asked Jadhav to pay Rs3.50 lakh for legal documents, Daundkar said. “Shashi also told Jadhav that he will get a salary of $600 per month and that he has to bear the traveling expenses,” the official added.
To pay for the documents, Jadhav’s father sold his Nashik land for Rs2 lakh and took a loan for the remaining amount. In July 2015, he deposited the money in a Bengaluru bank account under the name of one Arvind Gupta.
“Later, the other two accused, Dhirajkumar and Korde, provided fake immigration documents to him to board a plane to Iran. The victim was asked to pay Rs80,000 to an agent in that country. He was assured that from Iran he will be taken to Dubai,” added Daundkar.
But Jadhav was in for the shock of his life. Upon landing at Bushehr Airport in Iran, he paid the promised amount to the agent. Two other agents then took him to an isolated place where he saw 25 other people from India. “There, he was tortured and made to slog all day. He had to catch fish. The conditions were horrible and he had to go hungry at times,” another police officer said.
After six months of confinement, Jadhav managed to escape in February 2016.
On July 30, he lodged a complaint and the three men were arrested between July and August, Daundkar said. The accused were remanded in police custody. The police have recovered Rs1.14 lakh from them.