CBI arrests 4 in human trafficking case linked to Indians sent to Russia
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CBI arrests 4 in human trafficking case linked to Indians sent to Russia

A CBI probe had revealed that dozens of Indians were lured under the guise of lucrative jobs and sent to fight in the Russia-Ukraine war. The probe agency made first arrests in the case.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has made significant strides in dismantling a human trafficking network with the arrest of four individuals allegedly involved in trafficking Indian nationals for combat roles in the Russian Army.

On Tuesday, the CBI apprehended two suspects, identified as Arun and Yesudas Junior, both residents of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. This arrest follows an earlier operation on April 24, where two additional suspects, Nijil Jobi Bensam and Anthony Michael Elangovan, were detained in connection with the case.

The arrests are part of an ongoing investigation into a major human trafficking network that came to light on March 6, 2024. The network operated nationwide, targeting vulnerable youths with promises of lucrative employment opportunities abroad. Using social media platforms such as YouTube and local contacts, the traffickers enticed Indian nationals with the prospect of high-paying jobs in Russia.

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CBI arrests 4 in human trafficking case linked to Indians sent to Russia

Subsequent enquiries revealed a disturbing pattern wherein trafficked individuals were coerced into combat roles and deployed in the Russia-Ukraine War Zone against their will. This reckless exploitation not only endangered their lives but also resulted in severe injuries for some.

The CBI has filed a case of human trafficking against private Visa Consultancy Firms and agents involved in facilitating the illegal movement of Indian nationals to Russia under false pretences. The network of these agents spans multiple states across India and beyond.

Key figures in the trafficking operation include Nijil Jobi Bensam, who worked in Russia as a translator on a contract basis and played a central role in recruiting Indian nationals into the Russian Army. Anthony Michael Elangovan facilitated his co-accused Faisal Baba, based in Dubai, and others in Russia by processing visas in Chennai and arranging air travel for victims.

Arun and Yesudas Junior were identified as the main recruiters of Indian nationals from Kerala and Tamil Nadu for the Russian Army.

The investigation into this international human trafficking network remains ongoing, with authorities actively pursuing other individuals implicated in the operation.

Source: India Today

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