The police on Sunday arrested a local agent named Anjuman. This agent had advertised and recruited some of them as babysitters and part-time domestic helpers.
There are very strict provisions regarding human trafficking in the Gulf countries, but still many shocking cases have come to light from here. The latest case is of three women from Kerala who narrowly escaped being victims of human trafficking in Kuwait.
Three women from Kerala have been rescued from the clutches of a human trafficking network after the intervention of some social organizations in Kuwait. After this case came to light, Kerala Police suspects that many more such people may be trapped in West Asian countries.
On Saturday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) also questioned three women who had recently returned to Kerala. The women had complained that the person they had often named certain organizations in areas controlled by Islamic State (ISIS) and threatened to take them there if they protested. The man threatened that he would take him to Islamic State if the women informed his family members about his return home.
The police on Sunday arrested a local agent named Anjuman. This agent had advertised and recruited some of them as babysitters and part-time domestic helpers. Kochi Police Commissioner Nagaraj Chakilam said, “We have information that at least 30 people were sent by him (agent) and of whom 15 returned to the country. After a preliminary investigation, we found that he was in danger of being sold to ISIS, but the detailed investigation is on.”
He said that MK Ghazali alias Majeed, a resident of North Kerala, is the kingpin of the smuggling racket. He said, “It seems that he is no longer an Indian citizen. We are gathering all the information.”The commissioner said that Ajuman was offered the commission. He said a case has been registered under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 370 (human trafficking) of the Indian Penal Code.
He said he was not a licensed travel agent.“Anjuman used to paste posters in the city to attract women from poor backgrounds. He used to make false promises to them that they would be babysitters and that they would be well taken care of. But they got caught in the trap.
One of the absconding women, requesting anonymity, said they were offered a monthly salary of Rs 40,000 and air tickets for a job in Kuwait. The 44-year-old woman, a resident of Kollam, said, “When I reached there, my passport was confiscated and locked in a room along with four other women. When I tried to contact the family back home, I was brutally attacked. Later I was sold to a Kuwaiti family for Rs 3.5 lakh and I was forced to work even at night. I was given little food and sometimes kept hungry.
He said three of them fled after they managed to send the volunteers of the Malayali Association to the geographical location. The association traced them with the help of some social organizations and arranged for their tickets and sent them back home. The woman said she was sent to Kuwait in March. She said that she had fled to India two weeks ago. Spent more than two months with an Arab family before coming to India.
Another victim said, “When we protested, the agent threatened that we would be deported to the Islamic State-held provinces in Syria. He showed pictures of some women whom he said had been sent to such areas and said that there would be no return. Once when I met Hindi and Bengali-speaking women, they also told me that they are also victims of cheating like us.”
The woman said that she was working as an ASHA worker and he took the offer in the hope that the financial condition of the family would improve.” I never thought that I would be rescued. But I kept trying. I came to know that hundreds of such women are trapped in Kuwait alone,” she says.
An immigration official said that there are strict provisions for the recruitment of maids in the Gulf countries. Usually, immigration clearance and visas are disseminated through the e-Migrate website and the sponsor is required to give a bank guarantee of $2,850 as a security deposit to the embassy. This deposit is used as compensation for unpaid dues and legal obligations. He said, “Traffickers use fake designations like a baby sitter, helping elderly people, garden attendants, and sweepers to dupe them. Despite stringent provisions and awareness campaigns, many are still falling into the trap.”