The police official on the run for his alleged role in smuggling women to Central Asian countries for sex trade surrendered before the investigating officers here on Thursday.

The case against Raju Mathew, 44, of Kaniparambu, Kooropada, Kottayam, was that he helped a woman from Kazhakoottam in Thiruvananthapuram to travel to Dubai using fake passport in 2012, while he was with the emigration department of the Cochin International Airport.

Accused of rape

A case for use of fake passport was registered in which he was the fifth accused and placed under suspension. Another case was registered after it was reported the woman was raped while being abroad, in which he was an accused.

His anticipatory bail was dismissed by both High Court and Supreme Court. He moved anticipatory bail petition in the second case and was asked by the High Court to surrender before the investigating officer.

His arrest was recorded by S. Balachandran Nair, Deputy Superintendent of Police, here on Thursday. Raju Mathew had joined the force in sports quota as havildar at Malabar Special Police in 1991 and was a gold medal winner for 400 m relay at the police meet in 1994.

He came to the CIAL in 2009 on deputation as sub-inspector in emigration wing.

Sources in the police said that the racket used to lure women from financially weaker segments of the society with jobs like maid, cleaners, domestic help and sales girl in Central Asian countries. They were given fake passports and travel documents, which the gang members would confiscate on their reaching the destination.. The women are then forced into sex trade. Officers like Raju Mathew used to facilitate the smuggling at the airport. The Crime Branch is also probing whether he had roles in the other human smuggling case reported from CIAL, in which A.P. Ajeeb, a Civil Police Officer, has been arrested.

Three persons have been arrested in the sex racket case so far, but the main accused Lissie Sojan is still absconding. She is believed to be in hiding in one of the Central Asian countries. She is wanted in many other sex cases, police sources said.

Raju Mathew will be produced before the Aluva Judicial Second Class Magistrate Court on Friday.

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