Millennium Post

Over 50 Uzbek, Russian women trafficking victims: Police

The investigation in the double murder case of Uzbek women has opened Pandora’s Box as there is a high possibility that more than 50 women from Uzbekistan and Russia are victims of human trafficking and are allegedly being forced into prostitution rackets running in the national Capital and NCR areas.

A police official, requesting anonymity, said a dairy and some documents were found from the belongings of one Gagan, who is accused of killing two Uzbek women – Shakhnoza Shukurova (in September) and Naaz (in October).

“Contact details of many pimps, Uzbek women and other foreign nationals, including from Russia, have been found in the dairy and other documents. The police contacted a few of them. Initially, the foreign nationals were not cooperating. But a few of them have narrated their ordeal, which indicates that they are the victims of human trafficking,” said the official, who is close to the probe.

Another police official said  a special team formed by the South Delhi police was conducting another operation to bust a prostitution racket, where women from Uzbekistan and Russia are forced to work. 

“They are lured on the pretext of working as belly dancers. Once they agree, these women are offered jobs in five-star hotels. After which pimps strike a deal and force them into prostitution and promise a handsome amount in return of their ‘services’,” he added.

“Names of five-star hotel owners, senior bureaucrats/ police officials and top journalists – who used to demand services of Uzbek and Russian women – have cropped up in the investigation. They all will be summoned to join the investigation soon,” the official said.

Shukurova was murdered over Rs 8 lakh, which was allegedly demanded by Naaz against returning her passport. “The modus operandi of these gangs is to snatch the passports of the victims so that they cannot escape easily. Also, if a victim wishes to return to her country, the gang demands a huge amount for their freedom,” he added.

“An official letter has been written to the Uzbekistan Embassy in the national Capital, asking it to share details of the complaints filed by Uzbek nationals in the last three years who have visited India or are still living here,” the official said.

Shukurova was murdered in September and later her body was burnt in Haryana to hide her identity. A missing complaint was filed in Delhi, which was later converted to a kidnapping case and after two-months of the on-going investigation Gagan was nabbed.
Chayanika Nigam

Chayanika Nigam

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