Free for Life International, which is a U.S. anti-trafficking organization, partnered with Nepalese NGO and has completed a raid and arrest of two major traffickers. This is a historic moment, as it is the first time that the Indian Police Special Task force has partnered with a U.S. and Nepalese organization to assist in this type of mission.
In total, eleven girls were rescued, and two major traffickers in India were arrested in the raid. Free for Life International and Peace Rehabilitation Center have been coordinating this rescue operation for the past month.
After receiving a tip off from a person whose wife had been trafficked, Indian Police had been closely monitoring two traffickers identified as Rajan Adhikari and Jivan Pun. The victim’s husband assisted Free for Life International, Peace Rehabilitation Center (PRC) and the Indian Police in setting up a sting operation with the suspects. Adhikari told the man that if he desired the release of his wife, he would need two other women in exchange for her freedom.
Free for Life and PRC used one employee and a recently rescued girl to be placed as “bait” for the trafficker so that they could meet. During the sting, the trafficker was surrounded by undercover Indian police. As soon as Adhikari and Pun approached the man and girls under the context of an exchange, the traffickers were immediately arrested. Then the team went to rescue the eleven girls.
Kathmandu Post reported, “As per a tip-off received by the crime branch of the Indian Police a month ago, investigating officers raided an apartment in Basantakunja, Delhi, on Friday evening and rounded up two suspected traffickers and 11 women. The Indian authorities had initiated a probe as Shanti Punarsthapana Griha (Peace Rehabilitation Center) and Free for Life International, organizations working against woman trafficking, provided inputs regarding the trafficking of Nepali women to various Gulf countries via New Delhi and Colombo, Sri Lanka.”
The eleven girls were located in a high-rise apartment in Basantakunja, Delhi and were all Nepalese. They had been lured under the false pretense of jobs and foreign employment in Iraq and Kuwait. The Nepalese Embassy later provided travel documents for the girls to return to Nepal as all of their documents including passports had been taken by the traffickers. An official also escorted them back to Nepal to the NGO’s shelter where they are being medically, emotionally and physically screened and united with their families.
Recent reports now indicate that the two traffickers have been sending up to 40 trafficked women per month to Iraq and Kuwait.