GUWAHATI: In a significant development, the NIA (National Investigation Agency) filed charge sheets before the NIA Special Court in Guwahati against 24 operatives of international human trafficking syndicates involved in the trafficking of Bangladeshis and Rohingyas of Myanmar origin into India with forged Indian identity documents. The accused include four Bangladesh nationals and one Rohingya of Myanmar origin.
The charge sheet was filed on Monday under various provisions of the IPC, Foreigners Act, and Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920, read with the Rule Passport (Entry into India) Rules, 1950.
According to NIA sources, a total of 29 people were initially arrested by the NIA in raids conducted across 39 locations in Tripura, Assam, J&K, and West Bengal in coordination with the respective state police agencies. A large number of incriminating documents, forged Indian identity documents, bank documents, and digital devices were seized during the raids. Subsequently, based on investigational leads, four more accused were apprehended from Tripura, taking the total number to 33.
The case was initially registered by the Assam Police under the Passport Act 1967 against some anti-social elements, following credible inputs that the organized human trafficking syndicates were involved in trafficking Bangladeshi nationals and Rohingyas of Myanmar origin into India with forged documents for carrying out anti-India activities. NIA subsequently took over the case and re-registered it as RC-01/2023/NIA/GUW.
Investigations by the NIA revealed that international human trafficking syndicates were active along the Indo-Bangladesh international border in Tripura, Assam, West Bengal, and other areas. These syndicates were regularly trafficking Rohingyas and Bangladeshis and preparing forged Indian identity documents with the intention of settling them in various parts of the country.
The network also had linkages with facilitators and traffickers operating in other parts of the country and across the border, as part of a larger network engaged in human trafficking activities through the Indo-Bangladesh border. Investigations further revealed that the syndicates on both sides of the border conspired and offered inducements to obtain the consent of the trafficked individuals. The accused would prepare forged Indian identity documents and also arrange bookings, shelters, transportation, and their further travel to the hinterland, as per the investigational findings.
The traffickers exploited the victims, arranged their employment in various unorganised sectors on meagre earnings, and settled them in different parts of the country. The trafficked girls and women were exploited in various other forms by practising fraud and deception, with some Rohingya women also being sold to older men for marriage, NIA sources said.
As per the investigations, Indian ID documents were obtained by the Bangladeshi nationals in connivance with local bodies on fake or forged supporting documents and certificates furnished by the local officials, the sources said.