Four arrested for trafficking Indians to Russia-Ukraine war zone

May 8, 2024
May 8, 2024IANS - New Delhi

Four men, including a translator, were arrested on the charges of trafficking Indian nationals to Russia under the guise of better employment and then sending them to the Russia-Ukraine war zone, a CBI official said on Wednesday.

The officials said that Arun and Yesudas Junior a.k.a Priyan, both residents of Trivandrum, Kerala, were arrested on Tuesday.

Two other accused, Nijil Jobi Bensam, a resident of Kanyakumari and Anthony Michael Elangovan, a resident of Mumbai, were nabbed on April 24.

A senior Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) official said that on March 6, the agency had busted a major human trafficking network running across the country targeting gullible youths on the promise of offering lucrative jobs abroad.

These traffickers have been operating as an organised network and were luring Indian nationals through social media channels like YouTube etc. and also through their local contacts/agents for highly paid jobs in Russia.

"Thereafter, the trafficked Indian Nationals were trained in combat roles and deployed at front bases in the Russia - Ukraine War Zone against their wishes, thus, putting their lives in grave danger," said a senior CBI official.

As per CBI, it has been ascertained that some of the victims also got grievously injured in the war zone.

"A case of human trafficking was registered against private Visa Consultancy Firms and agents who were involved in the trafficking of Indian Nationals to Russia under the guise of better employment and high-paying jobs. The human trafficking network of these agents is spread over several States across the country and beyond," said the official.

The official further said that Nijil Jobi Bensam was working in Russia on a contract basis as a Translator and was one of the key members of the network operating in Russia for facilitating the recruitment of Indian nationals in the Russian Army.

"Michael Anthony was facilitating his co-accused Faisal Baba based in Dubai and others based in Russia in getting the Visa processing done in Chennai and booking the air tickets for victims to go to Russia," said the official.

"Arun and Yesudas were the main recruiters of Indian nationals belonging to Kerala and Tamil Nadu for the Russian Army. The investigation is continuing against other accused persons who are part of this international network of human traffickers," the official added.