Addressing mediapersons at the Police Commissioner’s office in Mangalore on Saturday, Pratap Reddy, IGP, Western Range, said that owing to the timely intervention of Mangalore police, an attempt by 13 people to take about 80 people to Australia via sea route with assurances of employment Down Under, has been foiled.
“The 13 accused had lured these people with assurances of employment in Australia alng with the country’s citizenship and even collected money from them. Most of these people who fell prey to their persuasions are Sri Lankan refugees of which 22 are women, 56 are men and 6 are children. The refugees belonged to 23 different refugee camps in Sri Lanka”, he said.
The 13 accused are: C Dinesh Kumar (27), Tamil Nadu, Rajeev Gandhi alias Kaandan (28), Tamil Nadu, Maria Jamsan (22), Tamil Nadu, Shivakumar (28), Madurai, Shajahan (33), Palakkad, Mahendran (41), Tamil Nadu, S Suresh (26), Padukote, Thavarassa (46), Sri Lanka, Mariya Siran (33), Padukote, Siraj (37), Koyamuthur, Yakoob (40), Tamil Nadu, and Saleem (28), Tamil Nadu.
The accused bought a boat by name ‘Shri Raksha’ from a person called Madhava Suvarna of Mangalore for 11.5 lakhs to take these refugees to Australia. The police recovered Rs. 2,84,000, 10 mobile phones, and refugee camp ID cards as well. Cases such as 120 (b) Read with 420 (Cheating With Conspiracy), Foreigner’s Act (Section 14) and Foreigner’s Order (Rule 5) have been registered against the accused at Bunder (North) police station, Mr. Reddy said. From primary investigation, it has been ascertained that among the accused, Thavarassa had been part of LTTE in Sri Lanka, Mr. Reddy said. The refugees are in police’s protective custody he said, adding that no cases had been registered against them.
Attempts to transport refugees to Australia were made by the accused earlier too, Mr. Reddy said. “Twice have they attempted it in the past, once from Kollam and the second time from Ponnani from Kerala. But both these attempts ended up being failures. This time, they chose Mangalore as a new place to execute their plan but they have experienced failure here too.
Tamil Nadu police officers are expected to visit Mangalore by tomorrow and a decision with reagard to transportation of the refugees currently in Mangalore police’s protective custody will be taken after consultations with them, Mr. Reddy said.
The police team which carried out the operation included ACP Kavitha of Central Sub-division, Dr H N Venkatesh Prasanna, CCB Inspector, Y Gangi Reddy, Coastal Security Police Inspector, Kalavathi, Women’s Police Inspector, besides police personnel of Mangalore East, North, and Urwa Police Station.
Human trafficking: 96 in police custody
Mangalore, Sep 8: A total of 96 people were taken into custody by police from Bunder Port in Mangalore for alleged human trafficking.
Speaking to mediapersons at Bunder Port in Mangalore on Saturday, Prathap Reddy, IGP, Western Range, said that on information that people are being deported to Australia by way of human trafficking the police apprehended 96 people at Bunder Port.
“But we are still finding out as to how many of them are the victims and how many are the culprits”, he said.
Mr. Reddy said that some of them belonged to Sri Lanka and that women and children were also among the group. More details will be given at a press briefing later in the day, Mr. Reddy said.