Members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) have arrested three members of a human trafficking syndicate in connection with recent incident of boat capsize in the Mediterranean Sea.
The arrestees were identified as Akkas Matubbar, 39, Enamul Huq Talukder,46, and Abdur Razzak Bhuyian,34.The elite force arrested them following raids conducted at Abdullahpur, Khilkhet and Bimanbandar in the early hours of Friday.
Akkas hails from Naria of Shariatpur, also a broker of a recruiting agency, while Enamul is owner of Yahia Overseas at Zindabazar in Sylhet, and Razzak hails from Brahmanbaria, also a broker of a recruiting agency.
RAB Media and Legal Wing director Mufti Mahmud Khan revealed this while briefing a group of journalists at the elite force’s Media Centre in Karwan Bazar in the capital.
On May 9, a rubber boat carrying 90 passengers, including 39 Bangladeshis, sank in the Mediterranean Sea along Tunisia coast. The people were going to Europe illegally from Libya. Of the 39 Bangladeshis, 14 were rescued alive while the rest others remained missing.
The RAB official said that the three were nabbed in connection with two cases filed by the family members of two victims with Naria police station in Shariatpur and Bishanath police station in Sylhet.
Taking help from the nationals of India, Turkey, Sri Lanka and Libya, Yahia Overseas and seven other recruiting agencies were involved in the human trafficking.Members of the racket commit crime in three stages, the RAB official said.
The first step is selection of interested persons who want to go abroad. The second step is to send them to Libya and the third step is to send them to Europe via Libya.
They send innocent people abroad in three ways. They send them from Bangladesh to India from where to Sri Lanka and then to Istanbul in Turkey and finally to Triply in Libya. They also send people from Bangladesh to Dubai and then to Amman in Jordan from where they send them to Benghazi in Libya.
Finally, they traffic the ‘fortune seekers’ to Europe via Libya.
The syndicate members mostly allure rural people of lower income group. They help the intending persons make passports and purchase tickets.
They take about Tk 7/8 lakh from each person in several phases during their journey to Europe. The amount of money is also taken in several phases. It takes about two months or one year to reach an individual to Europe.
The syndicate members help them get various jobs in Libya and take a lions’ share of their wages.