In probably first-of-its-kind child trafficking racket busted in the city, the Mysuru district police have nabbed a 11-member gang and have established an international link to the racket during the preliminary investigations. As many as 16 children, nine boys and seven girls between the ages of 25 days to five years have been rescued so far.
While a child traded to one Serene residing in the United States has been traced, the police are making attempts to bring the child back for further investigation. A letter has been sent in this regard to the company where Serene works seeking her cooperation. While this communication is on, the police also suspect that another child was traded to Kenya from Kerala.
While one of the 16 rescued children was kidnapped and sold in Nanjungudu, two were falsely declared born-dead and later sold between Rs 2 lakh and 4 lakh. Arvind and Naseema hospitals were the base for this gang from where it trafficked new-born babies.
The accused have been identified as S Mahesh (29) of Vidyanagar, C Venkatesh (38) of Yaraganahalli, Anusha (40) and Renuka (41) of Mandi Mohalla, Mohan K M (26) of Periyapatna, Usha C J (45) and Francis C J (55) of Bannimantapa, Madanlal (44) of Mysuru, Ravichndra (24) of Dattagalli, N Shankar (26) of Vidyanagar and B Ashok (25) of Papanna Layout.
SP Ravi D Channannavar told media persons on Thursday that the main accused Ravichandra, Shankar and Ashok were habitual offenders who were involved in 13 cases of robbery, dacoity and extortion since 2013. The police have recovered 1284 gms of gold worth 28 lakh, silver ornaments worth Rs 1 lakh, four cars worth Rs 12 lakh, televisions worth Rs 1.5 lakh, one bike worth Rs 50,000, one laptop worth Rs 30,000, four mobile phones worth Rs 1 lakh, eight expensive watches worth Rs 1 lakh and Rs 1.5 lakh cash.
Channannavar said that the trio trafficked children to lead an opulent lifestyle and used to purchase expensive cars, host DJ parties at hotels with the money they get from trading children.
Ravi sold his own son
The police during the interrogation have found that Ravi had sold his own son born to a lady who he had illegitimate affair with. “He did not spare his own son. He sold him to pursue his lifestyles.
Modus operandi of the gang
The gang had made Arvind and Naseema hospitals their base. With the help of nurses and staff, the gang mostly persuaded the women wanting to abort child to deliver and hand it to them. Two parents were told that their babies were born-dead against the fact that they were alive.
The babies then were sold to childless couple on hefty payments between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 4 lakh, depending upon the physical appearance of the child. The police said that the children were trafficked to Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Sagar, Bhadravati.
The police, however, are probing the possibility of trading new-born babies by their parents. Four biological mothers of rescued babies have been identified and police will conduct DNA test of the baby before handing it to them.
“We are in the process of matching the birth records and tally the births at the hospitals to trace the biological parents of the children,” the SP said.
Asked if with the arrest of this gang all the child trafficking cases have been solved, Channannavar said, “We can’t say everything is finished except. We are interrogating the accused to learn if the gang is involved with other gangs.
Stolen property recovery parade
The police also distributed the recovered stolen property till November 2016 to its owners which included golden and silver jewellery worth lakhs, two wheelers, televisions and mobile phones.
The police have arrested 1,462 in 251 cases of gambling and have recovered more than 19 lakh cash, 45 mobile phones, 71 two-wheelers and 95 four-wheelers besides arresting 430 people involved in illegal liquor seling. The police have seized 1,367 littres of liquor and 21 vehicle used for the purpose.