Human trafficking suspect luring youth to Maldives arrested in India

A human trafficking suspect who recruits workers to be sent to Maldives by promising employment has been arrested in India.

Some Indian medias have reported that a 40 year old Nepalese man named Shambhu Babugiri was arrested in an operation executed by the Central Crime Branch of India on Saturday.

The police also rescued the Nepali youths who were at a hotel in Chikkajala, Bangalore, the reports said.

Shambhu was allegedly attempting to send nine Nepalese youth to Maldives by luring them with jobs.

Indian authorities stated that the Shambhu Babugiri had taken INR 300,000 each from the victims by promising them jobs in Maldives.

India's The Hindu cited Indian authorities and said Babugiri, through his associate R.P. Sharma, used to take the candidates to Maldives and hand them over to his contacts, who would confiscate their travel documents and force them to do menial jobs without pay.

Authorities were alerted on Babugiri's activities when a group of youth who went to the Maldives recently was caught by the Immigration officials and sent back to Bangalore, said the report. Authorities are working to locate Babugiri's associates.

Maldives Immigration estimates that the number of illegal expatriates in the Maldives exceed 60,000. While this is the official figure, the unofficial figure is estimated to be twice the amount.

The government has established a "National Task-force on Issues Related to Migrant Workers" to address and resolve issues pertaining to migrant workers.

One of the steps taken by the task-force includes a regularization program to register illegal expatriates. The task-force has also suspended bringing in more workers from Bangladesh for a period of one year.