Stop/S.Asia: Powerful international network active in the count...

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Subject: Stop/S.Asia: Powerful international network active in the count...
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Fri Oct 22 1999 - 01:52:50 EDT


         Powerful international network active in the count...

APwo 10-19-99 2:37 PM

Copyright 1999 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
The information contained in this news report may not be published,
broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of
the Associated Press.

   A powerful network of international human traffickers is active in the
country, it is gathered from a reliable source. These human traffickers are
carrying on their activities in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Burma and even in
some countries of the Middle East.A section of government officials, BDR
and police personnel, illegal ghat owners, brokers, transport workers and
some so-called lawyers are allegedly aiding the international human
traffickers' network. A section of Indian Border Security Force (BSF)
personnel is also allegedly helping the human traffickers. While visiting
the border areas of Jessore and Satkhira districts this correspondent heard
many harrowing stories of trafficking in men, women and children through
the illegal border points locally known as "Dhurpachar ghats." Hundreds of
men , women and children are being trafficked to India through these
illegal ghats. Only a few of them are rescued by the BDR and the police.
   In some cases the rescued children were trafficked again to India after
they had been released on bail. Sometimes the victims are rescued by the
law enforcing agencies from the border areas and sometimes on way to the
border. It is learnt from BDR sources that the BDR personnel rescued 1,836
people while being trafficked to India through the illegal border points
near Benapole in 1997. Of them about 30 per cent were children brought from
different districts of Bangladesh. The BDR personnel of Satkhira rescued
890 persons from March to December last year when the victims were being
trafficked to India. Of them 360 were men, 270 women and 260 children. On
October 10, 1997 the BDR personnel held 70 men, 26 women and 25 children
>from Benapole border while they were being trafficked to India. The BDR men
handed them over to the Sarsha thana police.
   The police sent them to the court the same day. A local broker managed
bail for the 123 children, women and men the next day. A bus was reserved
before hand and the bailed victims were again trafficked to India by that
bus.Asia alias Maya (6) of Sarsha thana in the district was being
trafficked by a woman named Shahnaj who allured her to give her ripe date
on June 4 this year. Trafficker Shahnaj took her to a distance of about two
kilometres from their house. Out of suspicion a girl of the locality
challenged Shahnaj who identified herself as a relative of Asia. But the
victim denied her claim. The girl then shouted and the local people rushed
to spot and rescued Asia. The trafficker admitted that she had already
trafficked five children and women. Monira (4), Halima (7) and Jesmin (9),
three sisters of a village in Sarsha thana were going to their maternal
grandfather's house about 2 kilometres from the Indian border on December
2, 1998. Suddenly a bicycle rider stopped near them and forcibly took
Monira and Halima on the bicycle and tried to drive away.
   But Jesmin caught hold of the cycle from behind. Halima jumped down from
the carrier of the cycle while the cyclist drove away with Monira. The two
sisters shouted for help. At this the people working in the field rushed to
the spot and chased the trafficker who had already reached near the border.
Being afraid the trafficker however dropped the child and fled away.Sabeda
Khatun (12) of a village in Lohagara thana of Narail district was being
trafficked to India by a human trafficker named Abdul Mannan on June 6 this
year. She was caught by the trafficker when she was on her way to her
maternal uncle's house. The trafficker took her to Narail in the name of
reaching her to her destination. From there he brought her to Jessore by a
scooter. When he was trying to board a Benapole-bound bus with the girl,
the police arrested the trafficker and rescued the victim.
   Copyright 1999 THE INDEPENDENT all rights reserved as distributed by
WorldSources, Inc.


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