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CBI Arrests Four In India For Human Trafficking, Sending Indians To Russia-Ukraine War Zone

The CBI's official statement mentioned that a well-organized trafficking network has been luring Indian nationals through social media channels such as YouTube, as well as through local contacts and agents, promising lucrative job opportunities in Russia.

Edited By : simran rajpal | Updated: May 8, 2024 07:54 IST
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CBI Arrests Four In India For Human Trafficking, Sending Indians To Russia-Ukraine War Zone

On Tuesday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) announced the arrest of four individuals, one of whom is a contractual translator in the Russian Defence Ministry, for trafficking Indian nationals to the Russia-Ukraine war zone.

The central agency reported the arrest of Arun and Yesudas Junior, residents of Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, on Monday. They also arrested Nijil Jobi Bensam, a contractual employee in the Russian Defence Ministry, and Anthony Michael Elangovan, a Mumbai resident, on April 24. Subsequently, they were sent to judicial custody.

“In an official statement, the CBI said that an organized network of traffickers has been operating, enticing Indian nationals through social media platforms like YouTube and also through their local contacts and agents for lucrative jobs in Russia.”

The agency stated that the trafficked Indian nationals received training in combat roles and were stationed at front bases in the Russia-Ukraine war zone “against their wishes.” Additionally, it was mentioned that some of them sustained serious injuries in the ongoing war, which began with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

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How did the Human Trafficking start?

Bensam played a key role in the network operating in Russia, facilitating the recruitment of Indian nationals into the Russian Army.

Anthony was facilitating visa processing in Chennai and booking air tickets for victims, assisting his co-accused Faisal Baba in Dubai and others in Russia. The CBI stated that Arun and Yesudas were the primary recruiters of Indian nationals from Kerala and Tamil Nadu for enlistment in the Russian Army.

The agency registered a case of human trafficking against private visa consultancy firms and agents involved in the network, which spans multiple states across the country and beyond. Private visa consultancy companies used to connect with Indians interested in jobs abroad by creating videos through YouTube.

The videos portrayed that everything was fine in Russia and highlighted various job opportunities in the Russian Army, such as assisting, handling paperwork, and evacuating buildings destroyed in the war.

They assured Indian nationals that they would not be required to go to the border and engage in warfare.

They were also told that they would be trained for three months, during which they would be paid ₹ 40,000, and ₹ 1 lakh after the training is completed. Allegedly, the Indians were coerced into military training after receiving misleading translations of documents, indicating that they must either accept a 10-year imprisonment or join the Russian army.

The CBI discovered that a Delhi-based visa consultancy company had dispatched approximately 180 Indians to Russia. Currently, central agencies are working to secure their release.

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First published on: May 08, 2024 07:54 AM IST

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