Child trafficking has been a prevalent problem in India. Small children, especially the ones who are wretched in poverty, are sold abroad in exchange of money. Mumbai Police recently busted a racket and arrested the Kingpin, Rajubhai Gamlewala, who allegedly sent around 300 children to his US-based clients. He would charge Rs 45 lakh for each child, and he had started this business back in 2007.
It is still not known what happened with the trafficked children even though some of his gang members were arrested in March.
Rajubhai Gamlewala was mainly active in the Gujarat region, and according to the police, he would order his gang to find poor families who was willing to sell their child. Also, they would look for families who could rent out their children’s passports. Thereafter, a passport with a picture resemblance to the child would then be selected for trafficking.
Furthermore, makeup was applied to the child for a stronger resemblance with the passport picture to avoid immigration issues. Later, the gang members would pay a carrier to take the child to the US. Police are still unclear how the passports were stamped by the immigration staff without the bearer’s presence.
The police first came to know about this racket in March when actor, Preeti Sood, received a call from a friend who informed her that two minors were being applied makeup at a salon in Versova. Preeti Sood told TOI:
“I went there on a suspicion that the girls were being readied for brothels. But once there, I realised that the racket was bigger than I thought. I found three men instructing the staff on how to apply makeup on two minors. When I asked, the men claimed they were sending the children to their parents in the US. I asked them to accompany me to the police station, but they refused. I managed to stop two of the men and called the police. Meanwhile, the third escaped with the girls”
Until now, the police have arrested four men with the help of her.
Their gang leader, Gamlewala, was traced through a WhatsApp number which he used to communicate with his members. He has been arrested before in 2007 for passport forgery.