Indian police have stumbled up on a human trafficking racket that spans from Bangladesh to India’s West Bengal, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Delhi, police said on Thursday.
“Investigation has revealed that Biswas often rows a boat across the Kopotakkho river into Bangladesh to pick up girls aged between 10 and 15. These girls are then trafficked into India and dispatched to different parts of India where they are forced into prostitution,” deputy commissioner of police (east) Vinit Kumar told Indian daily Hindustan Times.
It was a bank deposit slip found at the rented house of Sukhjant alias Tumpa alias Nandini, 35, arrested on 4 September, for kidnapping a 3-year-old girl from the Saraswati Nagar neighbourhood of Jodhpur that led police to the suspected kingpin of the human trafficking racket in a village on the Indo-Bangladesh border in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas, he added.
Sujoy Biswas, 32, a small shopkeeper from Laxmipur Bihara village of the district was arrested who police suspect is the mastermind of the cross-border trafficking racket, he further said.
Police arrested Biswas on 12 September and produced him at a Jodhpur court on Wednesday.
Police investigation has revealed that Tumpa operated through her father in Bangladesh who helped her and Biswas lure minor girls. It is not clear yet if the girls were kidnapped or bought. But, Biswas told police, that he bribed BSF guards to get the girls past the international border.
After police arrested Tumpa from Saraswati Nagar, two girls, kept hostage by her in a house in the Raikabagh neighbourhood of the city, were rescued.
The girls told police that Thumpa –who claimed that she was a resident of West Bengal but police verification revealed that she was a Bangladesh citizen–brought them from Bangladesh. They said that they were forced into prostitution by the woman.
“It is possible that the girls’ parents sold them to Biswas and Tumpa as the girls are hard nuts to crack and didn’t reveal anything easily. Biswas too has said that he shared 50% of the money that the girls earned from prostitution with agents in Bangladesh,” Kumar said.
Police have found documents of bank transactions in Biswas’s account of Rs 1 crore in the last three years. Police suspect that he bought the girls from Bangladesh for Rs 3,000-5,000 and sold them to agents in cities like Jaipur, Jodhpur, Mumbai, Delhi and Pune for Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000.
Agents deposit money in Biswas’ bank account after the girls are delivered, investigation has revealed, police said.
Udaimandir police station chief Madan Beniwal said police have got Tumpa on production warrant from the Jodhpur central jail and will bring her face-to-face with Biswas to know more about the racket.