Mumbai child-trafficking racket: Police suspect accused could be an agent
The police are probing to find if he was taking children abroad to their kin who may have moved to foreign countries legally or illegally
Police suspect that the 52-year-old man, who was arrested on Tuesday for trafficking minor boys and girls to various countries, may be an agent in a big racket.
The Sahar police officials investigating the international racket said they are probing the possibility that accused Hemang Modi, 52, could be an agent, who was taking children abroad to their kin who may have moved to foreign countries legally or illegally.
A police official said, “Around 17 minor boys and girls have been sent to another country by the arrested accused and his wife Harsha, 41. Till now, we do not know the identity of the children.”
“Another possibility apart from human trafficking could be that Modi is an agent. There are several instances where one member of a family goes abroad legally or illegally and it becomes difficult for them to take the other family members. So they use agents or carriers to get their family members, including minors, abroad,” added the police official.
Hemang Modi and Harsha had trafficked at least 17 minor boys and girls to various countries since 2015, said police officers at Sahar police station where an FIR was registered.
Modi was produced before a local court and remanded in custody till October 30, while his wife is still wanted in the case. Apart from Modi’s wife, Sahar police officers said initial interrogations indicate the involvement of at least five other people. The officials suspect this could be just the tip of an international racket spread across countries like the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland and Germany.
The Modis, who reside in Borivli (East), came under the scanner after immigration officials found Harsha’s passport had been used by four different women to go abroad.Harsha also used the same passport to make foreign trips, the police said.
They learnt Harsha and the four women took a boy and a girl abroad with them on every trip. These trips were taken between 2015 and 2016. The four women and the trafficked children have not returned to Mumbai till date. the police said.
The police also found that on some trips, Hemang and Harsha passed of the trafficked boys and girls as their own children. They also managed to get fake Indian passports for these children.
The accused have made trips to United Kingdom and European countries like France, Switzerland and Germany, the police said. It is not clear where these children were born and how the couple found them, the police said.