Friday, May 12, 2017

Trafficking of kids to Paris: Film make-up artist, spot boy among 5 held

Mumbai:A make-up artist and a spot boy working in the film industry are among the five people arrested on Thursday in a case involving trafficking of children to Paris. The total number of arrests in the case has gone up to 11. The police had earlier arrested six people, including a woman hairstylist, and two cameramen.
Those arrested on Thursday are make-up artist Sanjay Pardesi, spot boy Noor Mohammed, Rafeeque Shaikh, Jogindar Singh and Sohail Shaikh.

Joint commissioner of police Sanjay Saxena said Pardesi, Mohammed and Shaikh had travelled to Paris earlier and taken children along by posing as their guardians, while Singh and Sohail had made passports of minors by forging documents and posed as their parents.

The police said they suspect that nearly 100 minors have been smuggled to Paris so far. An official said that the only motive of the minors' parents in sending them abroad was to ensure that their children got a better education abroad and the economic status of the family improved. Four teens from Hoshiarpur and Kapurthala in Punjab were rescued last month.

The police stumbled upon the case on April 20 after getting a tip that four minors were to be taken to Paris on fake identities.The tip had led to the arrest of five people -Bollywood cameraman Arif Farooqui (38), assistant cameraman Rajesh Pawar (47) and hairstylist Fatema Fareed (48). Later, three others including the gang leader, Aslam Panchal, were arrested.

An officer said that the gang charged Rs 10 lakh to take a child to France. An agent in Punjab used to escort students to Mumbai. The agent from Punjab used to convince parents to send their children abroad, said the officer. “Most children were from middleclass homes and their parents either spent their meagre savings to send them abroad or sold off property ,“ said the officer. “We suspect the gang had links with agents in Paris who received the children there."

The Times of India, May 12, 2017

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