Kerala seeks CBI investigation into human-trafficking case

TRIVANDRUM - The Kerala government has sought a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the controversial human trafficking case at Nedumbassery International Airport in Cochin.

By T K Devasia

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Sat 20 Apr 2013, 9:56 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 12:58 PM

The state government made the plea before the high court on Friday during the hearing on the application of two accused in the case for bail. The government counsel informed the court that the racket had sent hundreds of people abroad through the airport by forging documents in connivance with travel agencies.

They included four members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) and many criminals wanted by the police. The government counsel revealed that some foreigners had also traveled into and out of the country through the airport without proper documents. The counsel has pressed for a probe by federal agency, saying the case had international ramifications. The crime branch which is investigating the case now is not equipped to take their investigation to foreign countries. The CBI would be in a better position to unravel the larger conspiracy behind the racket.

The court will continue the hearing on Saturday.

The court had earlier asked the state government’s opinion on handing over the probe to the CBI while hearing the bail applications of Ajeeb and Savad, the two accused in the case. The court had observed that the case involved the security of the nation.

The court did not rule out the possibility of the racket helping terrorists escape through the airport. The court, therefore, said it was important to find out whether senior officials of police and immigration were involved in the trafficking or not. The court noted that the people arrested in connection with the case were only small fries.

Ajeeb, who is the first accused in the case, was a police constable posted at the airport’s immigration wing while Savad was a translator employed by Saudi Airlines on contract basis. Ajeeb’s involvement in the case came to light during an inquiry by Immigration Assistant Commissioner Somarajan, who found that he had helped various travel agents in sending people abroad while working at the airport from 2007-2011.

Ajeeb had allegedly amassed wealth amounting to millions during this period. The probe by Somarajan revealed that he had deposited Rs5.9 million in the bank account of his father and Rs600, 000 in his wife’s account.

More news from