Sri Lankan held trying to ‘traffic’ three Bhutanese women to Iraq

Handcuffs - Arrest by Police

A Sri Lankan travel agent was arrested in Mumbai on Wednesday for allegedly trying to fly to Sri Lanka with three Bhutanese women. The women told cops that the accused had promised them high paying jobs in a men’s spa in Iraq. Cops suspect he may have intended to force the women into the sex trade.

Sahar police caught Mohiuddin Fayaz (41) from the international airport after immigration officials got suspicious and checked his papers to find that he was “trafficking” the women using fake Indian passports.

The victims had paid Rs 6,000 each for the supposed jobs. Mumbai cops have provided for their food and accommodation and informed the Bhutan embassy in India so that the women can fly back to their homes.

“Fayaz confessed to having arranged 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,” said a Sahar police station officer.

When the three women, aged between 20 and 21, were brought to the police station, they got frightened on seeing the cops. However, the cops reassured them that they would not be charged but made witnesses in the case. “Today we have learned from our mistake and the cops are helping us return to our country. They have also provided us a room, food and given us a mobile phone to communicate with our families,” one of the victims told TOI.

Cops are investigating how many women have been similarly trafficked by the accused in the past. The accused got the women to Mumbai and was to fly to Sri Lanka en route to Iraq.

“A probe is on to find whether the accused forces the victims into the flesh trade in Iraq after luring them with job offers,” said a police officer. 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. A manhunt has been launched for the woman agent.

(Source: Time of India)