Arrested human trafficking gang smuggled over 400 women to Middle East

  • Rapid Action Battalion arrests five members of an international human trafficking syndicate from Uttara in the capital yesterday. The law enforcers also rescued nine female victims during the drive. The photo was taken in front of the RAB 2 office in Agargaon, Dhaka
    Photo- Mahmud Hossain Opu

A Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) spokesperson yesterday at noon said they RAB arrested five members of a human trafficking gang who had confessed to trafficking more than 400 women in Middle Eastern countries.

The gang was planning to traffic women in Saudi Arabia using the government’s current announced plan to send female workers to the country. Eying the market, the gang had also gathered nine victims to traffic in the KSA.

The information was discovered after the five gang members, including three women, were arrested and nine victims were rescued from their clutches.

The arrestees are Md Abdul Latif, 45, from Chandpur, Md Shahidul, 44, from Naogaon, Silpi Akter, 22, from Chandpur, Sima Akhtar Mousami, 19, from Dhaka and Rina Begum, 30, from Chandpur.

RAB earlier received complaints that the women were missing, and later they learned that a gang was trafficking women in the Middle East.

The gang members were arrested from the city’s Turag and Uttara areas. The victims were recovered from a four storied building in the Kamarpara area of Turag police station.

Police also recovered 195 passports, Tk2,50,127 and fake document-making materials from there. The gang had been operating under an unlicensed recruiting agency called Al Atif Farm BD. The owner of the office, Md Shahin Khondoker, is the ringleader and now on the run.

The gang mostly targeted women between 20 to 30 years of age, and also abandoned by their husbands or leading a life of poverty.

Shahin collected the women using his four brokers – Nurul Islam for Khulna, Abul Hossain for Dhaka, Enamul Haque for Chittagong and Kamrul for Bogra.

The RAB team also found that the gang had linked up with many other similar syndicates and formed a ring.

The team also recovered some official documents that showed a transaction of Tk17,79,500 had been completed after women had been trafficked in the countries.

RAB legal and media wing Director Mufti Mahmud Khan said most of the women’s parents did not know where they were. The broker first lured them with a bright future and finally handed them over to the traffickers in Dhaka, saying they would receive several training sessions there for working abroad.

Quoting Doulotuun Nesa, another RAB official said the victims had to pay Tk20,000 to Tk50,000 to the traffickers to go abroad. Later, the traffickers sold them in the Middle East, including in Saudi Arabia.

Mufti added, of the three arrested women, one was the office manager, one worked as a cleaner and the other looked after the victims.

RAB personnel are trying to arrest Shahin Khondoker and the remaining trafficking gang members. They will be handed over to police, said the RAB officials.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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