Mumbai: The recent international child trafficking racket busted by the Mumbai crime branch has revealed that parents in Punjab were sending their minor children willingly at the age of 12 or 13 due to growing drug menace and unemployment in the state.
Crime branch investigation has revealed that around 110 such children have been reportedly sent to France and other European countries from Punjab by the accused trio in the past eighteen months.
The Anti Robbery and Dacoity Squad (ARDS) of the Mumbai crime branch acting on specific information laid a trap and nabbed three persons last Friday and rescued four children from the Terminal 2 of Mumbai international airport.
The accused trio have been identified as Arif Farooqui (38), Rajesh Pawar (47), and Fatima Ahmed (48) who ran the human trafficking racket from Mumbai. The ADRS had received information that some people running a child trafficking racket will be flying abroad on Thursday or Friday along with some children aged between 12 and 13.
Based on the information, a trap was laid and on Friday the team nabbed two suspects who were with four children from the terminal 2 of the airport. On being questioned, the suspects revealed their names as Rajesh Pawar and Fatima and stated the four were their children.
When communicated with them in Marathi, the children couldn’t answer after which the duo were grilled further. The duo then revealed about the trafficking racket and also revealed name of the racket’s kingpin named Arif Farooqui. While Farooqui is a photographer, Pawar is an assistant cameraman and Fatima is known to be a hairstylist for some Bollywood actors.
Rajesh Pawar, Fatima Ahmed and Arif Farooqui were taken into custody and interrogated. The accused later revealed the modus operandi of their racket.