Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD: Bharat Bhai, one of the accused persons in the sensational human smuggling racket reported last year, was arrested here on Tuesday. He was produced before a local court and remanded to judicial custody for 14 days.

The arrest of Bharat Bhai, who managed to escape police for several months, is said to be a crucial development in the case that subsequently led to the arrest of two TRS MLAs -- Kasipeta Lingaiah and Soyam Bapu Rao. Hailing from Kallol area of Gandhinagar in Gujarat, the accused confessed to the police that he contacted a broker Raju Pitti, another accused in the case, in 2005 for help to secure visa for America.

Raju completed diploma in Industrial Training Institute and was working as fitter in a private company then. Later, he came to city and met Raju Pitti at Hanuman Tekdi. The broker reportedly told him to develop communication skills to secure visa. Meanwhile, Raju Pitti gave Bharat Bhai a woman’s photo asking him to find a woman with similar features aspiring to go to America.

The broker offered a commission of Rs. 50,000 to Bharat Bhai for this work . Bharat introduced a housewife Sangeeta Ben Patel of Gujarat to the broker. Police suspect she attended interview at the American Consulateposing as wife of Kasipeta Lingaiah.