KOCHI: The alleged kingpin of the Kuwait human trafficking racket MK Gassali alias Majeed, of Ottamavu in Kannur, has made a fortune by illegally recruiting women as bonded labourers for the past four years. The police who dug into Gassali’s activities found that he had huge investments in real estate and has constructed a bungalow for himself in Kannur.
A senior police official told TNIE that apart from constructing a house worth `60 lakh at Ottamavu, he recently made some investments in the real estate which includes the purchase of ten cents of land near his house.
He said that Gassali enjoyed some support within the police department and he fled to Kuwait from Bengaluru airport after the police allegedly sat on the case registered against him based on a complaint lodged by one of the victims on May 18.
“Preliminary inputs collected from sources in Kuwait reveal that Gassali is influential among some government officials in the country and used to supply women primarily to rich Arab families,” said a senior intelligence officer. The police have collected details of a local mobile number that he used to register his vehicles in the Kannur RTO office.
“We have got inputs suggesting that Gassali used to conduct the recruitment from other parts of the country as well with the help of local agents. He used Visakhapatnam airport as a hub to transport the women to Sharjah and Dubai on visiting visas.
Though he frequented Kuwait and Dubai, he doesn’t travel much to Kerala. We could ascertain that he has travelled to Kerala from Kuwait only twice in the last four years. We have requested the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to verify his travel records,” said the officer. Ernakulam Town South Police Station inspector Faisal M S said they have received information that Gassali has fled to Kuwait.
“We are taking necessary steps to track him,” the officer added. Advocate Nishin George V B, who was instrumental in lodging complaints with agencies after the husband of a victim approached him, said they had submitted the detailed complaint regarding the racket on February 28 while the victim was still in captivity. “There has been an inordinate delay in registering the FIR. This has helped Gassali escape,” he said.