22 January 2019: Indian police have arrested a Nepalese man alleged to be the kingpin of a ring which they believe is responsible for trafficking Nepalese women to Gulf countries.
When Delhi Police officers tried to arrest him last Saturday, Lopsang Lama jumped into the Yamuna River, Hindustan Times reported. Three officers promptly jumped into the water and fished the fugitive out. The arrest was made near Kashmere Gate interstate bus terminal in Delhi.
Delhi Police had been after the 33-year-old son of a “retired army personnel” ever since 16 Nepalese women were famously rescued from a house in south Delhi on July 25 last year. The women, apparently held hostage after arriving in Delhi with valid passports, were rescued by Delhi Commission for Women (DCW).
DCW chief Swati Maliwal told media at the time that the rescued women would have been “sold” to “buyers” in Iraq and Kuwait. Media reports suggest women smuggled into Gulf countries by human traffickers are often put to medieval work conditions and sexual abuse.
“Lama is the kingpin of a syndicate involved in sending Nepalese women to Gulf countries by illegal means. The trafficked women are sexually exploited as well. The man has disclosed that he was introduced to the illegal trade by his brother-in-law, who lives in Kuwait and has been involved in it since 2017. This syndicate has trafficked around 30 Nepalese women to Kuwait, Iraq, and Dubai,” Hindustan Times quoted Deputy Commissioner of Police Sanjeev Kumar Yadav as saying.
According to police, Mr Lama had fled to Nepal since the DCW’s raid last year but returned to India recently to start “afresh”. Indian authorities had announced a reward of Rs 100,000 for information leading to his arrest. It is not immediately known if the reward played a role in the arrest of the accused trafficker.