The International Criminal Police Organisation, commonly known as Interpol, has issued red notices against six alleged human traffickers on requests from Bangladesh authorities.
The six are sought by Bangladesh for their involvement in killing 26 Bangladeshi migrants in North African country Libya in May.
This is for the first time Bangladeshi authorities have asked Interpol for issuing red notices against human traffickers, said Mohiul Islam, assistant police inspector general for National Central Bureau at the police headquarters in Dhaka.
He told New Age that the Interpol accordingly issued the red notices in two phases against six Bangladeshis who are accused in a human trafficking case filed with Paltan police station in June.
The Criminal Investigation Department is investigating the case.
With Bangladesh police request, Interpol at first issued a red notice against Mintoo Mia on November 6. It also asked the Bangladesh government to provide answers to some queries about the other five accused.
The Interpol notice mentioned that Mintoo had been deceiving and luring targets with promises of suitable jobs and then confining and killing them for ransoms through an organised human trafficking racket.
Bangladesh police then sent the required documents and Interpol issued red notices against Jafar Iqbal, Nazrul Islam Mollah, Tanjilur alias Tanjimul and Shawpan past Wednesday, said police headquarters officials.
The five accused were from Kishorganj and the other from Madaripur.
Police suspect that the accused are now either in Italy or in Libya, said Mohiul.
At least 26 Bangladesh citizens were killed and 12 others injured in an attack in Mizda, about 180 kilometres from Libyan capital Tripoli, past May.
They were lured from different districts of Bangladesh with promises of a better future in Italy or any other European countries.
Bangladeshi law enforcement agencies beefed up their vigilance and increased the number of raids against human trafficking rackets after the Libya incidents.
According to police headquarters data, at least 26 human trafficking cases were unearthed after the Libya incident and 86 suspected human traffickers were arrested.
CID has been investigating all the cases.
CID’s serious crime unit additional police superintendent Akteruzzaman said that while investigating the cases, they traced some linchpins and provided details of those to the Interpol.
These traffickers left Bangladesh more than 10 years ago and they are now in Libya or some other neighbouring countries, he said.
They have recruiters who lure people on their behalf.
With the help of the ring members active abroad, the wanted persons take immigrants hostage and torture them, said Akteruzzaman.
The rings also demand ransom from families of captive people, he added.
Akteruzzaman said that many trafficking victims are from Madaripur, Shariatpur, Kishoreganj, Habiganj, Jashore and Chuadanga.
‘Interpol red notices will restrict the accused’s movements. They cannot move out of the countries they are now residing in. Once they are arrested in any Interpol member state, police will request for their extradition,’ the CID officer said.
He further said that the CID was also trying to ensure that the accused cannot get their passports renewed.
Police headquarters NCB unit additional police superintendent Abul Hasnat said that Italy has responded through Interpol after the red notices. They wanted forensic data of one of the prime accused Mintoo Mia.
At present, more than 70 Bangladeshis are on Interpol's red notice lists.
A senior CID officer said that they were in the process of asking Interpol seeking to issue more red notices in connection with sex trafficking to Middle Eastern countries.
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