India files supplementary charges in 2021 human trafficking case involving Sri Lankans

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) of India filed supplementary charges in a 2021 human trafficking case involving 39 Sri Lankan nationals who were deceived into travelling to India under the false pretense of being taken to Canada.

Recently arrested, Mohamed Imran Khan, also known as Imran, has been charged under multiple sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) related to trafficking, confinement, and conspiracy. The charges have also been filed against absconding suspects Seeni Aabul Khan, Mohamed Ibrahim, and Pudumadam Imran, who is also known as Hajiyar, before the NIA Special Court in Bengaluru.

The accused are alleged to have played a role in trafficking 39 Sri Lankan nationals to Mangaluru via Tamil Nadu, luring them with promises of reaching Canada. The victims were held against their will in various lodges across Mangaluru and were initially apprehended by the Karnataka Police as accomplices alongside the accused, according to an NIA press release.

The NIA initiated an investigation after assuming control of the case on July 13, 2021, ultimately identifying the 39 individuals as victims of a human trafficking network. The agency filed initial charges on October 5, 2021, against six individuals involved in the trafficking, while the victims were safely repatriated.

NIA’s investigations revealed that Mohammed Imran Khan, in collaboration with Pudhumadam Imran and associates Seeni Aabul Khan and Mohamed Ibrahim, intercepted the Sri Lankan nationals at sea and transported them to Bengaluru before bringing them to Mangaluru. Further inquiry unveiled that the initial conspiracy was orchestrated by Pudumadam Imran and an accomplice named Eesan, a Sri Lankan national who remains at large in the case.

The accused extracted significant sums of money from the victims and their families. Ongoing efforts are in progress to apprehend the remaining suspects, as confirmed by the NIA.