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Man arrested for running human trafficking racket

A 44-year-old 'editor-in-chief' of a web portal has been arrested here for allegedly running a human trafficking racket which sent people illegally to Europe.

delhi Updated: May 08, 2011 11:14 IST

A 44-year-old 'editor-in-chief' of a web portal has been arrested here for allegedly running a human trafficking racket which sent people illegally to Europe.

Amit Chaturvedi was apprehended from German Embassy in Chanakyapuri on Friday when he approached for a visa for himself and a student who allegedly wanted to go to that country to write a report on its culture for the website, police said.

A senior officer of the embassy's visa section had written to police that Chaturvedi, a resident of Gurgaon, was suspected of human smuggling by organising visas for Indian citizens who want to emigrate to Europe, specially Germany and Belgium.

"Chaturvedi applied for a visa at the embassy in May for himself and a 22-year-old woman whom he claimed was his employee. He said he was the editor-in-chief of a web TV operating from south Delhi's Safdurjung Enclave.

"The woman was said to be a student of a private university in Uttar Pradesh and it was told that she was to join Chaturvedi in Germany to write an article about German culture for the website," a senior police official said.

During the visa interview, the official said, embassy officials became suspicious of the woman as she could not explain any details of the trip and had "never written an article" before.

"There were serious doubts about the woman. The embassy officials said they suspected that Chaturvedi intended to organise a visa for the woman to emigrate illegally," the official said.

The embassy officials also found that Chaturvedi's passport had been altered allegedly by sticking two pages so as to hide a visa refusal stamp of the Swiss Embassy dated April 27, 2010, the official said.

"Chaturvedi and the woman got a visa refusal stamp from the Italian Embassy on April 11, 2011. So he had already tried to organise a visa for her before," the official quoted the embassy as saying.

"It also came to light that the bank statements of the Syndicate Bank given by Chaturvedi were found fake by the embassy officials," the official said.

Meanwhile, the German embassy was also in possession of information from their counterparts in Belgium embassy warning about the activities of Chaturvedi, who had allegedly organised visas for 12 Indians through fraudulent modes.

"According to Belgium embassy officials, Chaturvedi and his consultant editor Sanjiv Dev had applied for visas for themselves and 12 employees of the website. However, those who got visas never worked at the website," the official said.

A case under IPC sections 420 (cheating), 120B criminal conspiracy, 468 (forgery) and 471 (using forged documents as genuine) was registered against Chaturvedi.