New Delhi/Jammu, Nov 8 (PTI) Five modules engaged in human trafficking were busted and 44 operatives arrested as the National Investigation Agency (NIA) carried out nationwide raids on Wednesday, an official said.
The raids were conducted in coordination with the Border Security Force and state police forces at 55 locations in eight states and two union territories to dismantle human trafficking support networks involved in the infiltration and settlement of illegal migrants across the Indo-Bangladesh border, a spokesperson of the NIA said.
The official said the searches were carried out in Tripura, Assam, West Bengal, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Haryana, Rajasthan and the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Puducherry, dealing a big blow to the human trafficking networks.
Of the 44 operatives arrested, 21 were in Tripura, followed by 10 in Karnataka, five in Assam, three in West Bengal, two in Tamil Nadu, and one each in Puducherry, Telangana and Haryana, the spokesperson said.
Official sources said a couple of more people, including a Rohingya Muslim from Myanmar identified as Zaffar Alam, were detained during the raids in Jammu and Samba districts.
The NIA said the coordinated raids were executed across the country early Wednesday, leading to the recovery of various items of significance including digital devices, identity-related documents including Aadhaar and PAN cards (suspected to be forged), more than Rs 20 lakh in cash and foreign currency amounting to USD 4,550.
The simultaneous and synchronised raids and searches were carried out following the registration of four human trafficking cases in Guwahati, Chennai, Bengaluru and Jaipur, the spokesperson said.
The official said the initial case was registered on September 9 by the Assam Police's Special Task Force (STF) and pertained to a human trafficking network responsible for the infiltration and settlement of illegal migrants across the Indo-Bangladesh border, including those of Rohingya origin.
The operations of this network extended into various parts of the country, the spokesperson said, adding recognising the international and inter-state linkages of the case and its complexity, the NIA formally took charge of the investigations on October 6.
The official said the investigations in the case revealed that different modules of this illegal human trafficking network were spread over various states, including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir.
Based on these findings, the NIA registered three new cases to bust the modules of this extensive network based in different regions and states of the country, the official said.
Further investigations into the activities and modus operandi of these illegal human trafficking networks would continue to dismantle the entire ecosystem, the spokesperson said. PTI TAS SKL SMN