A man from Nawanshahr district who went to Greece in an “illegal manner” 17 years ago and who now claims to be a “legal resident” in Greece faces a case of human smuggling and cheating in Punjab following a complaint by family of a 27-year-old man who has gone missing while illegally trying to enter Greece from Turkey.
The Punjab Police on Monday booked Rakesh Kumar, hailing from Rajumajra village in Nawanshahr district but settled in Greece, and his wife Bholi, who lives in Rajumajra village, and unidentified travel agents in the case following a complaint by Tarsem Lal whose son Manjinder Kumar recently went missing while trying to reach Greece illegally from Turkey.
Lal, who “suspects murder of his son”, said Rakesh had promised “direct flight” of his son to Greece from Delhi, but he was made to fly to Turkey on June 20.
Lal said they had been told that Manjinder was likely to have drowned in a water channel after he “slipped accidentally” from a boat carrying about a dozen illegal immigrants from Turkey to Greece in a “donkey flight”, a term used for smuggling of illegal immigrants to any country.
Nawanshahr Senior Superintendent of Police Deepak Hilori said they were probing the case and would apprise the Ministry of External Affairs.
Talking to The Indian Express from Greece, Rakesh Kumar refuted the allegations. “I am not an agent. I did promise that if Manjinder managed to reach Greece in a legal manner, I will help him settle down here. And I had warned the family not to send Manjinder to Greece in any illegal manner as it involves risk,” Kumar said. “I had myself come to Greece illegally about 17 years back, spending several days while travelling through a water channel. So I know about the risk,” said Kumar, claiming to be a legal resident in Greece for the past over 10 years now.