Mumbai, Aug 16: The Mumbai Police has busted an international child trafficking racket. With the arrest of kingpin Rajubhai Gamlewala aka Rajubhai, the police have also found that at least 300 children were sent to the US since 2007, said media reports on Thursday. According to The Times of India, Rajubhai charged Rs 45 lakh per child from his clients. While it is not yet known what happened to the children after they landed in the US, police managed to arrest some members of the gang in March. (Also read: Kingpin of Drug Racket Arrested in Punjab)Also Read - Oldest Human Footprints in North America Found in New Mexico
The children, all aged 11-16, were from poor families in Gujarat.”Finding it difficult to take care of them, their parents or guardians would sell them,” a police officer told the daily. After receiving an order from his US clients, Gamlewala would instruct his gang to locate a poor family willing to sell a child. They would also find families willing to rent out their children’s passports. The gang would then pay a carrier to take the child to the US. They would also apply makeup on the child so he would resemble the picture on the passport. Once the carrier returned, the gang would return the passport to the original holder. Also Read - US President Joe Biden Plan Seeks to Expand Education, From Pre-K to College
The racket was busted by actor Preeti Sood in March when she got a call from a friend that two minors were being applied makeup at a Versova salon. “I went there thinking that maybe the girls were being readied for brothels. Once there, I realised that the racket was bigger than I thought,” she told TOI. She said she found three men instructing the staff on how to apply makeup on two minors. “When I asked them, the men claimed they were sending the children to their parents in the US. I asked them to accompany me to the police station, but they refused. I managed to stop two of the men and called the police. Meanwhile, the third escaped with the girls,” Sood said. She got four men arrested, including a retired sub-inspector’s son. Also Read - Friends, Family Flock to Long Island to Mourn Gabby Petito
“Gamlewala has been arrested before. In 2007, he was caught in Mumbai for passport forgery. We were led to his latest racket because of the March arrests,” DCP (Zone IX) Paramjit Singh Dahiya. The accused have been booked under the IPC’s sections 34 (common intention) and 373 (buying minor for purposes of prostitution). Gamlewala will be in police custody till August 18. His four cronies are in judicial custody.