Bengaluru: City police on Monday claimed to have unearthed a crime syndicate allegedly involved in the illegal transportation of children to the US with 16 people, including the suspected kingpin, being taken into custody.
In a crackdown, 14 teams of officers conducted raids in various police stations in Bengaluru City Commissionerate and registered about 13 cases and "secured" 16 persons including Uday Prathap Singh who was identified as the kingpin, and two women for various offenses.
Police said on the basis of information collected, it was found that Singh along with his other syndicate members lured a couple or a single male/female and projected them as real husband and wife, and accordingly documents were prepared to obtain passport and other travel documents.
They said Singh through his agents in Gujarat, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and other places brought children under the age of 10 years and paired them with the couples in Bengaluru who acted as family.
While the couple and the children got trained about behaving like a family, other team members prepared documents like rental agreement, birth certificate, voter cards, ration cards and applied for obtaining passport as family members.
After obtaining passport through "fraudulent means", another team in Tamil Nadu used to assist the "family" to get Non-immigration B1/B2 VISA (Business and pleasure visa) from the US consulate at Chennai.
Police said based on credible information, collection of actionable intelligence and preliminary inquiry, SIT has made prima facie case about human trafficking of children to US in which 16 couples were shortlisted and their antecedents verified clandestinely.