One held in Kochi human trafficking case, police hope to bust multi-crore racket

One held in Kochi human trafficking case, police hope to bust multi-crore racket

Agency News

In a breakthrough to the human trafficking case from Kochi involving a few hundred people and crores of rupees, police have nabbed Delhi-based Deepak who could not make it in the fishing boat that left Munambam in Kochi last week.

Deepak failed to get into the fishing vessel though his wife and child left, supposedly to Australia. He has been brought to Aluva police station where he was being questioned.

Police had found abandoned bags at Munambam and Kodungallur last week and learnt about the human trafficking where a 43-member team, including women and infants, left in the fishing boat. Police are said to have arrested the co-owner of the vessel.Deepak had to return to Delhi as he could not get into the vessel that was already full. Each person is said to have paid Rs 1.5 lakh for being ferried to Australia.

It is suspected that around 300 people have so far been ferried. Police said the 43 people had stayed in resorts and hotels at Cherai near Munambam for nearly a month.They had collected more than 10,000 litres of diesel for fuel, sufficient food materials and gallons of drinking water.

It is learnt that around Rs 6 crore was collected from the people who were willing to go. Rs 1.5 lakh was collected from each person. According to reports, around 200-300 people have left from Munambam.

It has been mainly Sri Lankan Tamils from South Indian coast being ferried illegally to Australia and New Zealand. The clandestine are operated along the Tamil Nadu in the east coast or Kerala in the west coast.

The shifting of coasts depended on the strengthening of patrol by Sri Lanka along the Bay of Bengal when it moves to Kerala. The two main racketeers operating are said to be one Sreekantan and one Selvam. Coast Guard has been put on alert to track the vessel. It has been a major racket going on for years and police expect the interrogation of Deepak to help them bust the racket.