- Traffickers take aspiring migrants from Dhaka to Uzbekistan via Kolkata and Delhi, to bring them ultimately into Poland
- 929 human trafficking cases filed in 2 years across the country
- The highest number of cases (264) filed with DMP
- District-wise highest number of human trafficking cases (42) filed in Madaripur
- 70% of expatriate workers who returned home due to Covid-19 remained unemployed
Faruk Hossain, a resident of Magura, quit his job at a non-governmental organisation to migrate legally to his dream country Poland two years ago. He gave a human trafficking ring Tk12 lakh that he had raised from his salary and by selling his father's land.
The traffickers promised to send Faruk to Poland legally with a work permit. They first took him to Uzbekistan via Kolkata and Delhi. There he found out that the traffickers were trying to take him to Poland illegally. Disillusioned, Faruk returned to Bangladesh and filed a case against the traffickers with Mirpur
Model Police Station under the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act.
After the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the police arrested the leader of the trafficking gang Ahsanul Bari in the case, law enforcers came to know that the traffickers had been using Uzbekistan as a new route to illegally send people to the European country.
Faruk gave Tk2 lakh to Ahsanul Bari in the first phase in June 2019. He gave another Tk2.5 lakh to the traffickers before flying out of the country.
Three months after Faruk gave the money to the traffickers, they took him from Dhaka to Kolkata and from there they took him to Delhi. There he got a visa from the Embassy of Uzbekistan and went to that country.
Four months later, the traffickers tried to send Faruk to Poland by the sea and by crossing borders illegally. Faruk instead fled and returned to Bangladesh.
When he returned home, 10 to 12 people were still waiting to take the risk to reach Poland illegally.
Faruk is currently living in a miserable situation with his family as he got no job after returning to the country. Although Ahsanul was arrested, Faruk has not got any money back.
According to an investigation, members of this trafficking gang are active not only in Bangladesh but also in India, Uzbekistan and Poland. The CID also learned that Shahabuddin, a member of the gang, is currently staying in Poland.
In addition to Uzbekistan, the traffickers have also been using Turkey, Libya, India, Sri Lanka, and United Arab Emirates as routes to send people illegally to the European nations.
Saidur Rahman Khan, special superintendent of the CID, told The Business Standard, "The new routes used by the human traffickers are being shut down with the help of the countries concerned.
"We are working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to prevent human trafficking. We are working together with all the countries that are being used as routes and the countries where people were trafficked into," He added.
According to the Police Headquarters, 929 human trafficking cases have been filed across the country in the last two years.
The highest number of human trafficking cases (264) has been filed with the Dhaka Metropolitan Police. District-wise, the highest number of such cases (42) has been filed in Madaripur.
Experts at a multilateral webinar marking the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on Wednesday said migrating illegally to Europe using new routes was on the rise. Human trafficking must be curbed now at any cost. The youth of the country should be made aware of the terrible evils of human trafficking.
According to the statistics presented at the webinar, 70% of the expatriate workers who have become unemployed during the Covid-19 pandemic are unemployed.
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen on Wednesday said trafficking in persons is a serious human rights violation and the fight against trafficking and smuggling of migrants requires multi-stakeholder engagement.
He said the government of Bangladesh has a zero-tolerance policy on this and is actively taking steps to fight this horrific crime.