Two Indians arrested for trafficking Nepal quake victims


NEW DELHI – Police arrested two Indian employees of the flagCARRIER airline Air India in New Delhi after the security forces uncovered a people-smuggling operation that apparently targeted victims of the Nepal earthquake, local and foreign media reported on Thursday.


A senior Indian police officer said that staff at the national carrier were suspected of helping Nepalese women promised jobs in wealthy Gulf countries to evadeIMMIGRATIONprocedures. So far 28 Nepali women have been identified, most of whom the police said were from areas of badly affected by a major earthquake in April that killed thousands and left many more homeless.


Police Deputy Commissioner at airport MI Haider said that the scam was exposed on July 21 when a group of seven Nepalese women transiting Delhi airport en route to Dubai were found with their travel documents stamped, even though they had not yet clearedIMMIGRATION control.


Police briefly detained the women and arrested two Air India ground staff, who admitted under questioning that they had been paid $90 or 5580 Indian rupees per person to arrange the forged documents.  Police found the 21 women when they raided aHOTEL IN DELHI and they will be returned to Nepal along with the other seven, Haider said.


The women had travelled to India from Nepal by bus after being promised work in Gulf countries. They flew from Delhi to Ahmedabad before boarding a flight to Dubai via Delhi – a convoluted route apparently aimed at evading immigration procedures.


A police statement named the two arrested men as Manish Gupta and Kapil Kumar. “The questioning of the detained women and the arrested duo also revealed that there were at least 21 other Nepalese women in Delhi waiting their turn to fly out of the country via the same route,” the police officer said.


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