CBI questions 3 accused in human trafficking case of students

Picture for representation (IANS)

New Delhi, Jan 3 : The CBI on Wednesday questioned the three accused in connection with its ongoing probe for trafficking 23 teenaged students to France in 2016 for “a rugby training camp”.

An agency official said that Lalit David Dean, Sanjeev Raj and Varun Chaudhary were questioned for several hours at its headquarters in south Delhi’s Lodhi Road area.

On Thursday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked them under charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, trafficking of persons and forgery under the Indian Penal Code.

Accrding to the agency officials, the CBI learnt about the human trafficking racket in December 2017, only when French investigators caught one of the trafficked boys and approached Interpol.

The agency then started a preliminary enquiry on Interpol’s information about an alleged human trafficking network. It later found that these three Delhi and Faridabad based agents lured parents of the 25 minor boys sometime in 2016, stating that their kids will be sent to France for a rugby training camp.

The agency in its FIR said that the accused had collected Rs 25 lakh to Rs 30 lakh from the parents and sent the students, aged between 13-18 years, to France on the pretext of rugby training.

But after the students reached France in February 2016, they were dumped in a gurudwara.

The agency also alleged that the visa in respect of said students were obtained from French Embassy at Delhi on the basis of forged and fabricated documents.

According to the CBI, all the 25 were left in Paris and their return tickets were got cancelled by accused but two boys somehow managed to come back before their tickets had been cancelled.

On Friday, the agency also conducted searches at four places in Delhi which resulted recovery of incriminating documents and other articles from the premises of accused persons.