AI official held in ‘emigration racket’

The cover was blown off an alleged human trafficking racket at Delhi airport this week after a group of people from Andhra Pradesh turned up at an immigration counter different from the one the racketeers had told them to go to.

An Air India official is in police custody; an immigration official alleged to be part of the ring is on the run. "Rahul Roy, an employee of Air India, has been arrested for facilitating the racket," DCP (IGIA) S S Deswal said.

An Andhra man complained to the Bureau of Immigration's Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) on December 6 that a man called Shekhar Kutubudeen had promised to get him to Kuwait without clearance from the Protector of Emigrants despite his ECR (Emigration Check Required) passport. The complainant had given Kutubudeen Rs 28,000, police said.

On December 3, the man was called to Delhi. On the train, he allegedly met two women and a man who had been promised similar deals.

According to the complaint, Kutubudeen's agent took the group to Delhi airport on the night of December 5-6, where they were approached by a man who said he would "facilitate their departure for Kuwait on the agents' instructions". This man has been identified as a head constable from shift B of Immigration, police said.

"Four women and another man joined us, following which the HC (head constable) asked us to enter the airport and wait near an elephant statue near gate no. 3, close to rows C and D," the complainant said.

The immigration official then allegedly collected boarding cards from Air India official Rahul Roy and asked them to go to a particular counter. The group, however, landed up at another counter, where they were caught, police said.

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