KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Monday observed the allegations in the Munambam human trafficking case could not be viewed lightly as they affect the sovereignty and security of the nation. Justice B Sudheendra Kumar made the observation while dismissing the bail petitions filed by Ravi of Delhi and Anil Kumar of Venganoor, the third and seventh accused, respectively, in the case. The court said the police were not able to locate the victims in the case.
Only if they were located and questioned, it would be possible to find out the purpose of taking persons to unknown destinations on the boat. The court said the probe is in its infancy. So, if the petitioners are released on bail, they would intimidate the witnesses. Considering the gravity of the case, the court declined bail petitioners.The court had earlier criticised the police for not invoking Section 370 (human trafficking) in the case.
When the case came up for hearing on Monday, the police informed that a report had been filed before the magistrate court concerned incorporating the offence. According to the police, Selvan, along with six other accused who had facilitated the illegal emigration, were arrested on March 22.
They were remanded in police custody till March 30. It was prima facie revealed that the first accused Sreekanthan and second accused Selvan had lured the victims with the promise of jobs in New Zealand and extracted money from them. Their whereabouts are still unknown and none of them had contacted their relatives. The accused had obtained undue financial gains from these transactions.