CBI arrests 2 people from Kerala in connection with Russia-Ukraine human trafficking case

CBI arrests 2 people from Kerala in connection with Russia-Ukraine human trafficking case

New Delhi | The CBI on Tuesday arrested two people for allegedly being involved in the human trafficking network that pushed Indians into the Russia-Ukraine war zone, officials said.

They were arrested from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala but the agency has not disclosed their identities yet.

The officials said that it is likely that some more arrests could be made.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had busted a major racket of travel agents that was luring Indian youths with opportunities in Russia but pushed them in the Russia-Ukraine war zone after confiscating their passports, they said.

The central probe agency's FIR has listed 17 visa consultancy companies, their owners and agents spread across India, they said.

The agency has booked them under Indian Penal Code sections related to criminal conspiracy, cheating and human trafficking.

The CBI has alleged that the accused persons through their agents trafficked Indian nationals to Russia on the pretext of getting them jobs related to the Russian army, security guards and helpers, for a better life and education, and a huge amount was charged from them.

The agents also duped students by providing them admission to dubious private universities in Russia instead of government or public universities by offering discounted fees, and visa extensions. The students were ultimately left "at the mercy" of local agents, it said.

Once these aspirants reached Russia their passports were seized by the agents there and they were forced to join the armed forces after combat role training.

The CBI has found 35 instances in which youngsters were taken to Russia after being lured with false promises of high-paying jobs via social media channels and local contacts and agents.

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