New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday cracked down on multiple locations in the north Indian states of Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan to identify the complicity of various suspects in the Laos human trafficking and cyber fraud case, according to an official release.

Five locations in the three states were subjected to thorough searches by NIA teams as part of the agency's crackdown on individuals/travel agents involved in the trafficking of vulnerable youth from India to the Golden Triangle SEZ in Laos.

The searches led to the seizure of incriminating materials including digital devices and documents, the release added.

The targeted locations were premises associated with aides and offices of the key accused, Balwant alias Bobby Kataria. NIA investigations have revealed that the suspects were allegedly handling the victims in trafficking, and also managing their logistics and recruitment to a cyber frauds company in Laos, it also said.

The human trafficking syndicate under the scanner was operating from Gurugram and other regions within and outside India. It related to the recruitment, transportation and transfer of the victims from India to the Golden Triangle SEZ in Laos.

Initial investigations in the case, originally registered by Gurugram police and taken over by NIA earlier this month, have revealed that the suspects whose premises were searched today had been working for accused Balwant alias Bobby Kataria, owner of MBK Global Visa Pvt. Ltd in Delhi, Haryana, and Rajasthan. They were instrumental in enticing youth with the promise of lucrative jobs in foreign countries.

Victims proficient in English were lured through social media channels and fraudulently sent to Laos, where they were forced to work in fake call centres. They were physically abused and their travel documents were taken away if they refused to cooperate.

NIA is continuing with its investigation in the case RC-07/2024/NIA/DLI under various sections of IPC and Emigration Act, the NIA release also said.

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