ANI Photo | NIA apprehends absconding accused in Sri Lankan human trafficking case

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has apprehended an absconding accused in the Sri Lankan human trafficking case, the agency said on Sunday.
The Absconder Tracking Team (ATT) of the NIA apprehended the 39-year-old accused, Mohamed Imran Khan alias Haja Najerbheeden, from his undisclosed location in the Theni district of Tamil Nadu. Imran Khan had been on the run since June 2021.
The ATT of the NIA’s Bengaluru branch monitored Imran Khan’s movements over the past several months, leading to his capture from his undisclosed location in Theni, said the NIA.
During preliminary investigations, the NIA said accused Imran Khan, a resident of Ramanathapuram in Tamil Nadu, was revealed as a notorious smuggler with a long-standing history of illegal activities in the region.
As per the anti-terror agency, the accused was a fugitive wanted by multiple law enforcement agencies for his involvement in various illicit operations.
The instant case originated when the Mangalore South Police acted on credible intelligence, revealing that a group of Sri Lankan nationals had arrived and taken residence in Mangalore without possessing valid documents. This operation led to the arrest of 38 Sri Lankan nationals on June 6, 2021, in Mangalore.
“Investigations revealed that Sri Lankan nationals were brought to Mangalore from Sri Lanka via Tamil Nadu and Bengaluru,” the NIA said.
Recognising the international dimensions of the case, the NIA intervened and re-registered the case in 2021.
It has been revealed that Imran Khan, in collaboration with a Sri Lankan national, Eesan, formerly associated with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), devised a plan to illegally transport 38 Sri Lankan nationals from their home country to various locations within Tamil Nadu.
“They lured these individuals with false promises, including the prospect of obtaining legitimate documentation for emigration to Canada and securing employment opportunities,” the NIA added.
The accused, Imran Khan, along with other co-accused, trafficked Sri Lankan nationals to various locations in Bengaluru and Mangaluru.
“Investigations revealed that Imran Khan is a pivotal figure in a broader conspiracy involving international human trafficking. He acted as the main conduit responsible for transporting Sri Lankan nationals from their home country to India and subsequently to other nations,” the NIA further said.
The NIA had filed a preliminary chargesheet against five Indian accused individuals in this case, namely Dhinakaran alias Ayya, Kasi Viswanathan, Rasool, Satham Ushen, and Abdul Muheetu, on October 5, 2021.
“To date, a total of 13 suspects have been arraigned in the case by the NIA. Investigations in this case remain open,” the NIA added

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