Mumbai

Truck smuggling labourers to U.P. intercepted, two booked

Accused charged the victims ₹2,500 per head

People-smuggling rackets seem to be the next big thing amidst the panic spawned from the ongoing lockdown after black marketing. The Saki Naka police, in the early hours of Sunday, busted one such racket, rescuing 64 people and booking two.

According to the police, the truck was stopped for a search during routine nakabandi in Saki Naka around 3 a.m.

“While the driver initially claimed that he was ferrying essentials, a closer inspection revealed that 64 people were packed in its back compartment with almost no space left, even to breathe. They were made to alight and we made inquiries, after which we found out that they were daily wage labourers,” an officer, who was part of the operation, said.

The officer said the workers, after running out of options for earning a livelihood in light of the lockdown, had opted to pay to get smuggled to their native place.

“The labourers had paid ₹2,500 per head to be dropped till U.P. as they had no other transport options available. Some of them were initially going to walk as far as they could and hitch rides wherever possible but weren’t sure they would be able to do so in light of the nakabandis and health concerns.” the officer said.

The police then counselled the workers and sent them back home, while also contacting the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to arrange for food and rations to last them for the time being.

“Meanwhile, the truck driver, Amjad Ali Shah (32), and owner, Ali Razaak Shah (35), were booked for disobedience of an order promulgated by a public servant and negligence likely to spread infection of a disease under the Indian Penal Code along with sections of the Epidemic Diseases Act and the Disaster Management Act and the police are conducting further inquiries,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone X) Ankit Goyal said.

Also known as human-smuggling rackets, the offences are among the top serious concerns in the U.S., where illegal migrants from various countries are smuggled in boats and trucks under extremely inhuman conditions into the country’s borders, often leading to loss of life.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 9:11:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/truck-smuggling-labourers-to-up-intercepted-two-booked/article31201786.ece

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