Three Bhutanese women rescued by Mumbai police from alleged trafficking

The Bhutanese Embassy in Delhi confirmed that three Bhutanese women have been rescued by the Mumbai police from a Sri Lankan travel agent for allegedly trying to fly to Sri Lanka.

She told The Bhutanese that a cop in Mumbai confirmed that the three Bhutanese girls, in a statement, said the accused had promised them highly lucrative jobs in a men’s spa in Iraq.

It is believed that the accused got the women to Mumbai and was to fly to Sri Lanka en-route to Iraq.

The Head of Chancery at the Embassy, Ugen Chozom said that they are still awaiting the transcripts of the statements issued by the girls to the Police.

“After receiving the information, we have enquired about the girls but we were not allowed to talk with them at the moment as the girls are under their custody. We have requested them to submit their statements so that we can act accordingly and get to the details of the case. Meanwhile we working closely with the Mumbai Police to bring the girls back home by air,” said Ugyen Chozom.

She said that the women are between the age range of 20-21 years old.

According to the latest reports by the Times of India (ToI), Sahar police caught the accused, Sri Lankan Mohiuddin Fayaz, 41 from the international airport after immigration officials got suspicious and checked his papers to find that he was allegedly trafficking the women using fake Indian passports.

“Fayaz confessed to having arranged the passports and visas for the women after getting in touch with a female  agent from Bhutan. The woman agent introduced him to the three women in Delhi.

She told them that they would be paid well for working in a men’s spa. They were also promised payment for the first six months of their training period,” reported the Indian daily.

The ToI report says that the three women had paid the man Nu 6,000 each.

Investigations are also underway to find out if the accused intended to engage three women into sex trafficking in Iraq by enticing them with attractive offers.

The Crime and Operation Division under the Royal Bhutan Police hasn’t received any reports as of date.

ToI says that Fayaz was booked under Indian Penal Code sections 34 for common intention, 370 for trafficking, 465 and 468 for forgery, and 471 for forgery of an electronic record.

He is in police custody till Friday.

The ToI report says that a manhunt has been launched for the Bhutanese woman agent if she is still in India.

In Thimphu the Labour Ministry and Royal Bhutan Police will have to see if the woman agent is legally registered and then prosecute her if she had indeed engaged in trafficking.

Ironically, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) recently dropped the prosecution of a Bhutanese woman agent from Chukha who was not only not registered as an agent but sent eight Bhutanese women to Kurdistan in Iraq.

The women had all said they their documents were taken away on arriving there, they were not allowed to meet others, they were locked away and they had to work long hours.

The OAG said that there was no force or threat or deception and the case under the penal code did not qualify for trafficking though the NCWC and the RBP did not agree.

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