There has been a sharp spike in unlawful border crossings since 2022. Vibes of India has been reporting in this space how the smuggling of migrants is ruining lives (read the sad end of the Dingucha family that froze to death).
Illicit travel agents have funnelling gullible youth — and Gujaratis comprise a sizeable number of them — towards the US-Canada shores. Now, it has emerged that agents have spread their nexus far and wide.
A couple along with a three-year-old child were found in captivity in Indonesia. It was yet again the case of a family unable to see through the deceptive snare of an illegal agent. The agent, a report claimed, lured Nepal Singh, 25, his wife Achraj Kunwar, 25, their son Devraj, 3, and relative Prem Singh, 35, residents of Shahibaug, with a promise of work in Japan.
Nepal told the daily, “My elder brother and I ran an automobile spare parts business in Shahibaug. Around two months ago, I met an agent, Rajendrasinh Chavda, from Chandkheda, who claimed to arrange opportunities for people to go abroad.”
A school dropout, Nepal fell for the Satanic bait when Chavda allegedly assured him that despite his lack of education, he could land a job in another country. In return for a fee of Rs 15 lakh for the family and Rs 10 lakh for Prem, Chavda reportedly assured them of a job in Japan. The salary, he had them believe, would be Rs 2.5 lakhs per month.
Nepal was in for a rude jolt on landing in Indonesia. Not only did Chavda leave abruptly, but he also handed over the family to human smugglers in Indonesia, the daily reported. Nepal alleged that Chavda had a team of 4-5 Indians who would forge videos to mislead people like him into believing they were headed overseas.
Nepal said the family, trapped in a desolate room in Jakarta, survived only on rice.
Chavda allegedly tried to extort another Rs 10 lakh to release the family. When he refused, the family was subject to physical violence.
Finally, the family enjoyed a slice of fortune when they found an escape route. “We sought help from the Indonesian police and went to the Indian embassy in Jakarta. My brother approached the local police in Ahmedabad, but no action was taken against Chavda,” Nepal said.
According to the report, he appealed for immediate repatriation to India, urging justice for the traumatised family.
In a similar incident, a couple from Nava Naroda, trying to migrate to the US, found themselves in the clutches of kidnappers who demanded Rs 15 lakh from their relatives to set them free.
Clearly, the government’s inaction screams out of these horrific episodes. Stringent measures are required — not just illegal immigration acts — to curb this menace. That certainly isn’t the case which has only emboldened the growing chain of nefarious agents at work.