Tamil Nadu: NIA Arrests Key Accused In Sri Lankan Human Trafficking Case In Theni

Tamil Nadu: NIA Arrests Key Accused In Sri Lankan Human Trafficking Case In Theni

The accused was identified as Mohamed Imran Khan alias Hama Najerbheeden (39).

N ChithraUpdated: Sunday, October 22, 2023, 10:30 PM IST
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Chennai: In a significant arrest, the Absconded Tracking Team (ATT) of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Bengaluru, tracked an absconding accused in a Sri Lankan human trafficking case in Theni district in Tamil Nadu and took him into custody. The accused was identified as Mohamed Imran Khan alias Hama Najerbheeden (39).

The agency said he was a key figure in the case and had been on the run since June 2021. “The ATT, NIA Bengaluru monitored his movements over the past several months leading to his capture” from a location in Theni.

The accused hailed from Ramanathapuram in south Tamil Nadu. Preliminary investigations revealed he was a notorious smuggler with a long-standing history of illegal activities in the region. “He was a fugitive wanted by multiple law enforcement agencies for his involvement in various illicit operations,” the NIA said on Sunday.

Origins of the Sri Lankan Human Trafficking Case

The instant case originated when the Mangalore South Police acted on credible intelligence, revealing that a group of Sri Lankan nationals had arrived and taken residence in Mangalore without possessing valid documents. This operation led to the arrest of 38 Sri Lankan nationals on the June 6, 2021 from Mangalore.

Investigations revealed that Sri Lankan nationals were brought to Mangalore from Sri Lanka via Tamil Nadu and Bengaluru. Recognising the international dimensions of the case , the NIA intervened and re-registered the case.

Imran Khan's Role in International Human Trafficking

“It has been revealed that Imran Khan, in collaboration with a Sri Lankan national, Eesan, formerly associated with the LTTE, devised a plan to illegally transport 38 Sri Lankan nationals from thier home country to various locations within Tamil Nadu. They lured these Individuals with false promises, including the prospect of obtaining legitimate documentation for emigration to Canada end securing employment opportunities,” the NIA said.

Imran Khan, along with other co-accused, trafficked Sri Lankan nationals to various locations in Bengaluru and Mangalore.

“Investigations revealed that Imran Khan is a pivotal figure in a broader conspiracy involving international human trafficking. He acted as the main conduit responsible for transporting Sri Lankan nationals from their home country to India and subsequently to other nations,” the agency added.

NIA's Preliminary Chargesheet and Accused Individuals

NIA had filed a preliminary chargesheet against five Indian accused individuals in this case, namely Dhinakaran alias Ayya, Kasi Viswanathan, Rasool, Satham Ushen, and Abdul Muheetu in October 2021. To date, a total of 13 suspects have been arraigned in the case by the NIA.

Investigations in this case remain open, the agency added.

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