Mumbai court refuses to grant NIA custody of 2 people held for human trafficking

11:08 AM Jun 05, 2024 | PTI |

Mumbai: A special court has refused to grant National Investigation Agency (NIA) the custody of two people arrested for alleged involvement in a human trafficking racket in which Indians were lured to foreign countries with the promise of high-paying jobs.


In the order passed on Tuesday, special judge A K Lahoti, however, said the NIA can question the accused, Jerry Phillips Jacob and Godafi Alvarez, while they are in judicial custody.

Some Indians, mostly men in the 20-45 age group, had been sent to countries like Thailand and Cambodia where they were tortured and subjected to slavery, the NIA has said.

Jacob and Alvarez were arrested by the Mumbai police in March in connection with sending Indians to Thailand, where they were held hostage in extremely poor conditions.

The two people have been booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 370 (human trafficking) and other charges and they are in judicial custody at present.


The NIA took over the probe recently, citing the presence of an international human trafficking racket.

The court on Monday allowed the probe agency to formally arrest the accused.

Following this, the NIA sought their custody, claiming it was an ‘international conspiracy’ where Indian youth being trafficked to countries like Thailand, Cambodia, etc., were forced to work in fake call centres and indulge in credit card frauds, the NIA told the court.

These victims were tortured and subjected to slavery; the NIA’s had submitted before the court.


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