A travel agency owner from Mumbai and eight others have been arrested here for human trafficking in the guise of marriage, police said.
The man from Mumbai was allegedly trying to buy a minor girl from her family for Rs 3 lakh. Syed Althaf Ali and eight other accused, including the 14-year-old’s mother and grandmother have been arrested by police.
According to police, the girl’s mother Ashira Begum and grandmother Chand Sultana through other accused had struck a deal to sell her to 61-year-old Althaf Ali. Seven out of the nine accused are women.
The arrests were made by Balapur police on Sunday night under the limits of Rachakonda Police Commissionerate after they were tipped off by locals.
According to police, Althaf Ali had divorced his wife about six years ago and had been looking for someone to take care of him. He found the 14-year-old through autorickshaw driver Akeel Ahmed (34) from Balapur who was introduced to him by common friends.
Ahmed along with Zareena Begum, Shabana Begum, Shameen Sulthana, Nasreen Begum, Zahaid Bee, all from Balapur and Bandlaguda areas in Rangareddy district had initially offered Rs 5 lakh to the girl’s mother and grandmother to send her with Ali. However, the deal could not be struck Althaf as Ali refused to pay more than Rs 3 lakh.
However, the girl’s mother and grandmother recently agreed to strike the deal for Rs 3 lakh as the family had financial problems after the girl’s uncle met with an accident.
Alerted by the locals, Balapur sub-inspector B. Srikanth along with SHE team conducted a raid at a house in Balapur and arrested the accused when the deal was being struck.
The accused were booked under IPC sections 370, 370 (A) r/w 511, Section17 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and Section 3 and 5 of Immoral Traffic (Prevention Act). All the accused were remanded to judicial custody.