In a significant breakthrough, the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) successfully dismantled a major human trafficking operation, leading to the apprehension of three individuals originating from Bangladesh on October 12. These suspects were found to be deeply involved in aiding illegal migrants from Bangladesh to obtain counterfeit Indian identity documents, subsequently enabling them to settle in India. The operation culminated in the arrest of Najibul Sheikh and Abu Hurayara, both natives of 24 Parganas, West Bengal, alongside Adil Mohammed Ashrafi, who also goes by the name Adil-ur-Rehman, a resident of Mirpur, Bangladesh.
A Hub for Trafficking Rohingyas and Bangladeshis
According to media reports, the accused were the linchpins of an expansive human trafficking network, which specialised in facilitating the illegal immigration of numerous Rohingyas and Bangladeshis, relocating them to various parts of Uttar Pradesh. The syndicate had received a staggering sum of Rs 20 crore in foreign funding over the past three years to further their illicit operations.
The UP ATS, in its relentless pursuit of justice, uncovered a wealth of evidence against the accused. A staggering Rs 1.5 crores were found in the bank accounts linked to the suspects. Additionally, three mobile phones, counterfeit Indian passports, PAN cards, Aadhaar cards, and Bangladeshi SIM cards were seized, further implicating the individuals involved.
Following the apprehension, the police swiftly took action, filing a litany of charges against the suspects. These included fraud, cheating, impersonation, and violations of the Passports Act. In a further damning turn, they were also charged with supporting anti-national activities by illicitly providing funds, a direct contravention of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).
Adil’s Elaborate Deception: A Tale of Forged Identities
Adil Mohammad Ashrafi, also known as Adil ur Rehman, was identified as a crucial figure in this network. Intelligence from ATS ADG Mohit Aggarwal revealed that Adil was in the process of travelling from West Bengal to Delhi or Saharanpur. Swift action by the ATS team led to his apprehension in Varanasi. A counterfeit Aadhaar card and passport were found in his possession, exposing the depth of deception employed.
During interrogation, Adil made startling revelations, divulging that he hailed from Bangladesh and had been residing in Uttar Pradesh for an extended period. He disclosed obtaining his fraudulent documents with the aid of Sheikh Najibul Haq and Abu Huraira Ghazi, both originally from West Bengal but currently residing in Saharanpur. This lead prompted the ATS to apprehend both individuals in Saharanpur, with all three suspects confessing to their roles in the operation.
NGOs Misused: Funding Diverted for Illicit Activities
In a shocking twist, the investigation unveiled that certain NGOs’ FCRA accounts had received a staggering Rs 20 crore from foreign sources. These funds, ostensibly intended to support educational institutions, were instead being funnelled into nefarious activities related to human trafficking. This included the facilitation of illegal infiltration, document forgery, providing refuge, and engaging in anti-India endeavours.
In a parallel operation, the ATS launched a comprehensive crackdown on unauthorised Rohingya immigrants residing unlawfully in Uttar Pradesh. The operation, conducted in July, resulted in the apprehension of 74 Rohingya immigrants across various districts within the state. The detainees included 55 men, 14 women, and five children, underscoring the gravity of the issue.
Seventeen Years of Deception: The Rohingya Family’s Deceptive Journey
On April 17, acting on a tip from informants, the UP ATS apprehended a Rohingya woman named Fatime, also known as Amina, along with her three daughters – Rihana, Gulshan, and Arshi. These individuals had entered India from Bangladesh approximately seventeen years ago, utilizing counterfeit Aadhaar cards, voter cards, and other Indian documents to evade detection. This incident serves as a stark reminder of the lengths individuals go to deceive immigration authorities.
Lucknow | Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) arrested 74 Rohingya refugees in collaboration with UP police. Case registered against them. pic.twitter.com/bv6hrYSBop
— ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) July 24, 2023
The ATS’s relentless pursuit of justice underscores the gravity of human trafficking and the need for stringent measures to curb such activities. The recent operation serves as a significant step towards dismantling these nefarious networks and ensuring the safety and security of the nation.