KOCHI: The probe into the racket that trafficked three Kerala women to Kuwait and allegedly sold them to Kuwaiti families for Rs 10 lakh has revealed that two Malayalees – Ajumon A R and Sameer - were close aides of the kingpin identified as M K Gassali, who also operated under the name Majeed in Kerala, Dubai and Kuwait. The police have started to track the accused using the mobile numbers they used to coordinate the operation.
“It was Ajumon who first interacted with the women who enquired for jobs after seeing posters placed in public places. Later, the list of candidates was passed on to Sameer, who arranged for visas and air tickets to fly the women to Sharjah,’’ said a senior police officer. As per the complaint by one of the victim’s husband before the National Investigation Agency (NIA), it was Ajumon who first demanded a ransom of Rs 3 lakh. Later, Majeed from Kuwait called three times on February 28 via WhatsApp demanding money.
He spoke in Malayalam and made the calls from +965 6662 4103.
He threatened to sell the woman to the IS or put her in Kuwaiti jail if the ransom wasn’t paid.
“We have collected the details of phone numbers used for recruitment purposes by Sameer and Ajumon. We are inquiring more details about Gassali,” the police said. Meanwhile, the NIA has collected details from one of the victims in Kochi and is trying to reach out to other two victims who were rescued and brought back to the state by a Malayali organisation in Kuwait. As the Ernakulam Sessions Court has already rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Ajumon, the police have started the procedures to arrest him.
Additional Sessions Judge G Girish, who dismissed the bail application, observed that “the offence alleged against the accused is serious. It cannot be trivialised as a mere instance of breach of an agreement to provide the assured job abroad. On the other hand, the facts and circumstances of the case reveals the exploitation of a housewife and her unauthorised recruitment to a foreign country by misrepresenting the actual nature of the job she had to do. The further allegation about the threat made by the accused that she would be abandoned in Syria and handed over to terrorists aggravates the nature of the offence involved.”