Vizag police bust human trafficking racket being operated from Cambodia, arrest three local agents

Over 150 youngsters from the city stuck in that country, total count from other parts of A.P. and Kolkata could go up to 5,000; victims lured by promising data entry operators and forced to commit cyber crimes in India, says city police chief

Updated - May 18, 2024 09:28 pm IST

Published - May 18, 2024 08:56 pm IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

Commissioner of Police A. Ravi Shankar addressing the media in Visakhapatnam on Saturday.

Commissioner of Police A. Ravi Shankar addressing the media in Visakhapatnam on Saturday.

In a major breakthrough, the Visakhapatnam cyber crime police have unearthed a human trafficking racket being operated by some Indian agents from Cambodia and arrested three local agents from the city. The police found that the gang has been luring gullible youth by promising to provide data entry operator jobs in Cambodia, but were being forced there to commit cyber crimes in India.

Over 150 youngsters from the city and the surrounding areas have fallen prey to the agents and are stuck in that country, they said, and suspected that the total count of the victims from the other areas of the State and Kolkata could go up to 5,000.

Addressing a press conference at the Police Conference Hall here on May 18 (Saturday), the Commissioner of Police, A Ravi Shankar, said that the Indian agents from Cambodia call up the local agents to arrange people for cyber crimes in the name of data entry jobs. The local agents collect ₹1.50 lakh from each job aspirant out of which they send ₹80,000 to the Cambodia agents for passport, VISA and other arrangements, and keep the rest as their commission.

“Upon reaching Cambodia, these youth are locked up as slaves and forced to operate in the cyber crime network. They are denied food and pay until they fall in line. The agents give training before deploying them to commit various online frauds through which they rob innocent public of their hard-earned money. Courier scam, cryptocurrency scam, task game and OTP frauds are some of the offences committed by them,” he said.

‘’Those who work properly will be given a salary of 600 dollars besides incentives, and promotions. As per the investigation, the victims are forced to work for at least one year, he said.

Video call

During the investigation, they verified the facts through a video call with the victims, Mr. Ravi Shankar said, adding the latter had shared their hardships.

He suspected that there could be over 5,000 victims from Andhra Pradesh, especially from Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, Anakapalli, Palasa, Rajamundry, Tuni, Amalapuram, and Anantapur, apart from Kolkata.

Stating that they are sharing the investigation details with the Indian Embassy in Cambodia, the Commissioner appealed to the parents of victims to approach them and the Indian Embassy in Cambodia.

Cases were registered against the three local agents for human trafficking, extortion, wrongful confinement, and criminal conspiracy.

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