NIA arrests Nashik resident in human trafficking, cyber frauds case | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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NIA arrests Nashik resident in human trafficking, cyber frauds case

Jun 15, 2024 08:16 AM IST

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday carried out searches and arrested a Nashik resident in connection with a human trafficking and pig butchering fraud case. The arrested individual, Nashik resident Sudarshan Darade, is the sixth person to be arrested in the case

MUMBAI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday carried out searches and arrested a Nashik resident in connection with a human trafficking and pig butchering fraud case. The arrested individual, Nashik resident Sudarshan Darade, is the sixth person to be arrested in the case. Earlier, on May 27, 2024, the NIA had arrested five others during multi-state searches conducted in joint operations with the respective state police forces.

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Friday’s searches led to the seizure of several documents, digital devices, and details of bank accounts, which the NIA is examining to unravel the conspiracy behind the human trafficking and forced cyber fraud case.

The federal agency took over the case from Mumbai police on May 13 after preliminary findings revealed a nationwide nexus between the traffickers and cyber frauds operating on instructions from international syndicates. The NIA investigation has revealed that Darade was directly involved in the organized trafficking syndicate, engaging in luring and trafficking Indian youth to foreign countries with false promises of gainful employment.

The youth, agency officials said, were being forced to work in fake call centers in Laos, the Golden Triangle SEZ along the Mekong River in Laos, and Cambodia, among other places, through elaborate syndicates controlled and operated mainly by foreign nationals. These syndicates were connected to operatives based in various parts of India, as well as other countries like the UAE and Vietnam, in addition to Cambodia and the Laos SEZ.

All the accused arrested so far had been working in close collusion with traffickers operating from across the international border to illegally transport Indian youth from Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam to Laos, especially the Golden Triangle SEZ. These trafficked youth were coerced into undertaking illegal activities online, such as credit card fraud, luring investments in cryptocurrency using fake applications, honey trapping, and more.

On May 27, the NIA carried out searches at 15 locations in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, and Chandigarh, arresting five persons: Manish Hingu from Vadodara (Gujarat), Pahlad Singh from Gopalganj (Bihar), Nabialam Ray from South-West Delhi, Balwant Kataria from Gurugram (Haryana), and Sartaj Singh from Chandigarh.

The agency officials said that the accused were working at the behest of foreign agents belonging to well-organized syndicates active in several districts of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Delhi, Punjab, and Haryana. These syndicates were further connected to operatives based in other parts of India, as well as in foreign countries like the United Arab Emirates, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos.

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