NIA arrests notorious smuggler & key figure in SL human trafficking case

The NIA said that it has arrested Mohamed Imran Khan aka Haja Najerbheedenin the Sri Lankan human trafficking case.

New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Sunday said that it has arrested Mohamed Imran Khan aka Haja Najerbheeden, a notorious smuggler with a long-standing history of illegal activities in the region and a key figure in the Sri Lankan human trafficking case.

An NIA official here said that the agency’s Absconder Tracking Team (ATT) arrested Khan, 39, from an undisclosed location of Tamil Nadu’s Theni district.

The official said that Khan, a key figure in the case, had been on the run since June 2021.

He was arrested following the ATT Bengaluru regularly monitoring his movements over the past several months.

The official said that during preliminary investigations, Khan, resident of Ramanathapuram of Tamil Nadu, was revealed as a notorious smuggler with a long-standing history of illegal activities in the region.

“He was a fugitive wanted by multiple law enforcement agencies for his involvement in various illicit operations,” the official said.

The official said that during the probe it was revealed that Khan, in collaboration with a Sri Lankan national, Eesan, formerly associated with the 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.

“Khan, along with other co-accused, trafficked Sri Lankan nationals to various locations in Bengaluru and Mangaluru,” the official said.

“Probe found that 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 official added.

The 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 from Mangalore.

Investigations revealed that Sri Lankan nationals were brought to Mangalore from Sri Lanka via Tamil Nadu and Bengaluru.

Recognising the international dimensions of the case, the NIA intervened and re-registered the case.

The NIA had filed a preliminary charge sheet against five Indian accused individuals in this case, namely Dhinakaran aka Ayya, Kasi Viswanathan, Rasool, Satham Ushen, and Abdul Muheetu, on October 5, 2021.

The NIA has till date arraigned a total of 13 accused in the case by the NIA.

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