gujarat: On illegal US journey, 37 Gujarat families feared ‘missing’ in Turkey | Ahmedabad News – Times of India

AHMEDABAD: The count of immigrants, who are feared to have gone ‘missing’ on their dangerously illegal journey from Gujarat to the US, has shot up to 136 people, senior cops investigating human smuggling rackets have revealed.
Investigators probing the disappearance of six illegal immigrants — two couples and two children from a village in Kalol taluka — who went to Turkey in January discovered that 18 more Gujaratis, who had chosen to enter the US illegally through the Mexico-Turkey route, had been allegedly kidnapped after landing in Istanbul. Further investigation revealed that this number is suspected to be as high as 37 families, comprising 112 people hailing from Gandhinagar, Mehsana, and Ahmedabad districts, senior police officials said.
“Probe into disappearance of six illegal immigrants revealed that it was just the tip of the iceberg. Investigation revealed 18 others from Gandhinagar and Mehsana were also allegedly abducted in Turkey. Now, it is suspected that as many as 112 more such illegal migrants are either suspected to have gone missing or abducted by the Turkish mafia,” said a police officer, privy to the development.
The officer said the 37 families were sent to Istanbul between January 10 and 20. “The agents in Gujarat are connected to officials and criminal elements in other countries who facilitate the smuggling process. Turkey is a mid-way stop for those who want to enter the US without legal permission. Once the immigrants reach Turkey, they are sent to Mexico by flight or sea using forged passports. Then agents in Mexico smuggle the migrants into the US.
However, in this case, the mafia trapped the illegal immigrants. Some of their relatives have received calls seeking ransom ranging from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. These family members are not ready to file a police complaint in fear that it would bring harm to those in captivity,” the officer said.
Most of these missing persons hail from north Gujarat where there is massive obsession among rural masses to immigrate to the US by any means.
Officers enumerated significant risks illegal immigrants endure in their quest to cross over to their dream country. “When the illegal immigrants reach Turkey, human smugglers in Istanbul keep them in rented flats for 3-6 months until they get clearance from their counterparts in Mexico. Even if they leave Turkey safely, the illegal immigrants are likely to be tortured by the Mexicans if their agent in Gujarat or those sponsoring the illegal trip – mainly angadias – fail to provide money for their expenditure.”
The illegal immigration rackets in Gujarat came under scanner after four of a Patel family from Dingucha in Gandhinagar froze to death near the Canada border while trying to enter the US illegally in January.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here