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Cops rescue kids who were to be trafficked to Europe; 3 held

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Police arrested three persons, including a woman, for alleged child trafficking from the International Airport (CSIA) here just before they were to board a flight to Paris.

The Anti-theft and robbery squad of the Crime Branch rescued four children aged between 14 to 16 years from the traffickers from terminal-2 yesterday, Sashikant Satav, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime), said today.

The accused were identified as Arif Farooqui (38) Rajesh Pawar (47) and Fatima Ahmed (48), while efforts are on to nab an agent from Punjab, who is on the run, he added.

Cops suspect a big racket wherein children are trafficked to to get citizenship of the respective countries after they attain 18 years of age, said the officer.

At least six passports, European visas and 3,000 Euros have been recovered from the trio, he said.

Farooqui is a photographer, Pawar is an assistant cameraman and Fatima is a hairstylist of some celebrities, the official said.

The rescued children hail from and were sent by an agent with consent of their parents, he said.

As per the investigation, the accused were charging Rs 10 lakh per children to send them to European countries, he added.

Explaining the modus operandi, the officer said Farooqui used to make passport of these children with names of Pawar and Fatima as their parents.

For this purpose, he (Farooqui) used to submit fake birth certificate and school identity card, he said.

After going to Europe, the children used to work at religious places and stay with Indian families till the age of 18, the official said.

After becoming major they possibly got citizenship of respective countries after which they could take their parents along, the official said.

During interrogation the accused persons claimed that they had sent more than 15 such kids to by using the same modus operandi, the official said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 21 2017. 23:07 IST