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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

Delhi cops jump into Yamuna to catch Nepalese human trafficking ring kingpin

The police had claimed that the women were lured to Delhi by alleged traffickers who were their compatriots, who told them they would be sent to foreign countries and employed as domestic help with a salary of Rs 30,000 each.

delhi Updated: Jan 21, 2019 09:30 IST
Karn Pratap Singh
Karn Pratap Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Lopsang Lama, a Nepalese citizen, was arrested from near the Kashmere Gate bus terminal on Saturday, January 19, 2019.
Lopsang Lama, a Nepalese citizen, was arrested from near the Kashmere Gate bus terminal on Saturday, January 19, 2019. (HT Photo )
         

Six months after 16 women from Nepal, who were allegedly brought to Delhi to be trafficked to Gulf countries, were rescued by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) from a house in south Delhi’s Munirka, the police on Sunday arrested a 33-year-old Nepalese national in the case. The women were allegedly held hostage in the house for 20 days; they were to be “sold” to buyers in Iraq and Kuwait, DCW chief Swati Maliwal had alleged, after the rescue operation on July 25 last year.

The police had claimed that the women were lured to Delhi by alleged traffickers who were their compatriots, who told them they would be sent to foreign countries and employed as domestic help with a salary of Rs 30,000 each. The women entered India legally with valid passports. However, their passports were “seized” by the two men, who went on the run after the women were rescued, the police had said.

Lopsang Lama, the son of a retired military personnel, was arrested from near the Kashmere Gate interstate bus terminal on Saturday following a tip-off that he would be meeting an associate there, Sanjeev Kumar Yadav, DCP, (special cell) said.

“The raiding team spotted the suspect coming from the direction of the Buddhist monastery and asked him to surrender. However, he ran towards Kudsia Ghat. When the police surrounded him, he jumped into the Yamuna. Three police personnel also jumped into the river, caught Lama and fished him out,” Yadav said.

The DCP said Lama had been evading arrest in the case registered after the rescue operation. “Lama is the kingpin of a syndicate involved in sending Nepalese women to Gulf countries by illegal means. The trafficked women are sexually exploited as well. The man has disclosed that he was introduced to the illegal trade by his brother-in-law, who lives in Kuwait and has been involved in it since 2017. This syndicate has trafficked around 30 Nepalese women to Kuwait, Iraq, and Dubai,” the DCP said.

The interrogation of Lama, Yadav said, revealed that he received a handsome commission for trafficking women. “Since the trafficking of women is banned in Nepal, Lama would bring the girls to India under the garb of providing jobs,” he added.

Police said after the Munirka raid, Lama, who holds a Nepalese passport, fled to Nepal. A reward of Rs 1 lakh had been announced on him. He returned to Delhi and allegedly decided to start his human trafficking racket afresh in Wazirabad area.

DCW chief Maliwal, meanwhile, expressed relief at Lama’s arrest. “It’s really shameful that DCW members have to conduct midnight raids and rescue trafficked women but local police remain clueless. On top of it, the police do not add trafficking charges in FIRs. I am glad that after so many days the police have finally arrested the mastermind of the human trafficking syndicate. We don’t know how many girls this man has trafficked to Gulf countries. I demand stringent punishment be given to him,” she said.

First Published: Jan 21, 2019 09:27 IST

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