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SOURCE: PTI

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday arrested a wanted accused involved in the trafficking of Bangladeshi nationals and Rohingyas into India through the northeastern borders.

Jalil Miah, a resident of Tripura, has been arrested by the NIA team, an official statement said. The NIA had in February declared a cash reward of ? 1 lakh for information leading to the arrest of Jalil, who was absconding in the case, in addition to nine others.

As per the NIA investigations, a large number of Bangladeshi nationals and Rohingyas are being trafficked to India every month through the porous stretches of the Indo-Bangladesh border.

They are further transported to different parts of the country provided fake documents and forced into labour, according to the statement issued by the probe agency.

“In yet another success in its fight against human traffickers operating across the country, the NIA on Tuesday arrested a key conspirator in a case relating to trafficking of Bangladeshi nationals and Rohingyas through the north-eastern borders,” it said.

Thirty-three persons were arrested earlier in the case, which the NIA had taken over from the Assam Special Task Force (STF) that had originally registered an FIR on March 22, 2023, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Passport Act 1967.

The NIA has so far chargesheeted 24 accused.

Investigations have revealed that Jalil was one of the main conspirators in the human trafficking racket and a close associate of chargesheeted accused Jiban Rudra Pal alias Jibon alias Suman.

He was also closely associated with two other absconders, Juj Miah and Shanto, all hailing from Tripura, the NIA said.

Though Jalil had managed to escape during the initial operation on November 8, 2023, in which 29 accused were arrested, the NIA said, adding electronic devices and other incriminating documents seized from his residence had pointed to his complicity.

Pan India searches conducted by the NIA in November 2023 had led to the seizure of a whole lot of incriminating data, including digital devices, along with foreign currency (Bangladeshi Taka and US Dollar), Aadhaar cards, PAN cards etc.

A subsequent crackdown on December 29 last year had led to the arrest of another four accused in the case, exposing a massive network of human traffickers, the NIA said.

“The manhunt for tracking the other absconders is continuing and investigations are in progress to connect the missing links in the elaborate racket,” it said.

In a related development, the NIA had on Monday carried out a coordinated operation with the state police forces and central intelligence agencies across all the locations in connection with its probe in an international human trafficking and cyber fraud racket.

Five accused were arrested by the state police forces during these searches.

The youths were being forced to work in fake call centres at Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (SEZ), Laos and Cambodia, among other places, as part of the racket, controlled and operated mainly by foreign nationals.

They were also coerced into undertaking illegal activities online such as credit card fraud, investments in cryptocurrency using fake applications, honey trapping, etc. by the accused persons and their other members of the human trafficking syndicate.