Assam's Alarming Discovery: NIA Targets Inter-State Traffickers

News Reporter News Reporter
Thursday, November 09, 2023
Assam's Alarming Discovery: NIA Targets Inter-State Traffickers
NIA Arrests 44 Individuals in Nationwide Raids Targeting Illegal Migrant Trafficking Network
Assam's Alarming Discovery: NIA Targets Inter-State Traffickers

Guwahati, India - November 9, 2023: In a significant operation conducted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in response to a complaint filed by Assam police, 44 individuals were apprehended in raids spanning 10 states and Union Territories. The arrests were made on charges related to their alleged involvement in the trafficking of illegal Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants into India.

The arrests occurred in various locations, with the majority taking place in Tripura (21), followed by Karnataka (10), Assam (five), West Bengal (three), and one each in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Telangana, and Haryana. Furthermore, the NIA carried out raids in Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir with the assistance of the Border Security Force (BSF) and state police.

The primary objective of this operation is to dismantle the illegal human trafficking support networks that have been facilitating the infiltration and settlement of illegal migrants along the Indo-Bangladesh border into India.

The catalyst for this investigation was Assam Police's discovery of a group of Rohingya migrants on a train arriving from Tripura at Karimganj railway station in South Assam in February of this year. This discovery prompted the authorities to take swift action, resulting in the prevention of 450 Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants from entering the country, with the assistance of the BSF.

Further inquiries and questioning of the migrants revealed that their illegal entry into India was orchestrated by touts and middlemen, who play a significant role in such infiltration. What's even more concerning is that these facilitators are not limited to the border regions but also operate within the Indian mainland.

The NIA subsequently registered four human trafficking cases across various locations, including Guwahati, Chennai, Bangalore, and Jaipur. In a synchronized effort, the agency conducted raids and searches at 55 different locations.

The investigations uncovered that different modules of the illegal human trafficking network were spread across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Jammu & Kashmir. These modules were found to be operating from these regions, and the raids resulted in the seizure of identity-related documents, including Aadhar cards and Pan Cards, which were suspected to be forged. Additionally, Indian currency notes worth Rs. 20 lakhs and foreign currency amounting to 4550 USD were confiscated.

This illegal human trafficking network not only had a widespread presence but also a considerable impact. The Special Task Force established by Assam Police initiated an operation in July, leading to the arrest of 10 touts. Subsequent investigations revealed that these touts had a nationwide network, posing a significant national security concern with inter-state ramifications.

In response to the gravity of the situation, the Government of Assam requested the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to transfer one of the cases to the NIA, considering Assam's exploitation as a corridor for this illegal activity. These touts were found to assist illegal migrants in obtaining forged Indian documents like Voter ID cards, Aadhar cards, passports, and even facilitated their travel to major cities via trains passing through Assam.

The arrests made during this operation are a crucial step in curbing the illegal human trafficking of Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants into India, safeguarding the nation's security and integrity. The NIA, along with various state authorities, continues to investigate this intricate network to bring all those involved to justice.