With the arrest of 13 people, Karnataka Police’s CID claims to have busted an inter-state human trafficking gang, which allegedly lured a Punjab resident to Bengaluru in 2017 with the promise to help him emigrate to Canada. The gang later killed the victim, Surendra Pal Singh, from Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district, after failing to extort Rs 20 lakh from his family, according to police. Singh’s body was found on the outskirts of Bengaluru in December 2017.
Among the arrested is Abdul Kareem Rahman Qureshi, alias Naresh Patel, from Mumbai, identified as head of the racket. According to the CID, he would receive victims in Mumbai and then send them to Bengaluru — to be held captive by his aides while they tried to extort from the victims’ families. The probe has found that the gang forced victims to make VOIP calls —calls made over the internet — to family and relatives in Punjab to transfer money.
In Surendra Singh’s abduction and murder case, the agency stated that after Qureshi’s arrest, “a search was conducted at his residence, and documents such as Aadhaar card copies, voter ID copies, passports (with visas) to Canada, USA, Australia, Thailand (and) Indonesia…have been recovered”.
The CID said 108 passports were seized from Qureshi.