Britons of Indian origin have been hiring contract killers in India to murder targets such as friends and family members during their visits to India, an investigation has revealed.
Nearly 100 such murders of British Asians are reported every year in India, a report by the BBC Asian network claimed. Most of such murders take place in Punjab, it added.
The report, titled Passport to Murder, said that such as family or business associates are lured to the sub-continent, where contract killers can be reportedly hired for 500 pounds. The full report is scheduled to be broadcast on the network later on Monday.
Scotland Yard says it is aware of the problem, while the Foreign Office says six British nationals are missing in India. The report said Punjab Police denied corruption allowed the British Asians behind such murders to evade justice.
A member of the Punjab Legislative Assembly, British-born Jassi Khangura, has investigated the trend which he believes claims the lives of between 50 and 100 overseas Indians every year.
He says most of the killings are carried out in Punjab where, he claims, police corruption and bureaucratic or legal loopholes mean the perpetrators are seldom tried.
The reported quoted the Punjab Police as saying the figures are exaggerated and denied that the force was riddled with corruption. Some victims' families are now turning to authorities in the UK for assistance, the report added.