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April 20, 2018

Trafficking ring busted as two teenage girls rescued

Karachi

April 20, 2018

Police have busted a trafficking ring during their search for two teenage girls who had gone missing earlier this week. The minors have been rescued and two of their kidnappers are now being detained.

Fifteen-year-old Rabia Hafeezullah and her 14-year-old friend Saima Abdur Razzak went to meet a woman on April 15, but they did not return home. That night Rabia’s father told the Surjani Town police that the girls had gone to meet their neighbour Sumaira, alias Sonia, in the Ramzan Goth locality.

Sumaira told the police that the girls had left her house after a short meeting, but a case was registered against her and her alleged husband Sajjad Ali on Hafeezullah’s complaint.

Inspector Mansoor Ali Khan, the station investigation officer, told The News that a police team raided the suspects’ house and arrested Sumaira late on Wednesday night. She told the police about Ali’s whereabouts, following which the man was also arrested.

The suspects told the investigators about another of their companions, namely Maria Ilyas Khan. Inspector Khan said the alleged couple told the police that Maria was residing in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, following which a team of law enforcers raided her house and rescued both the missing girls.

He said the police arrested another companion, namely Azam, from Maria’s residence, adding that the investigators retrieved the call detail record of the missing girls and found out that the girls had been in contact with two boys living on the upper floor of Hafeezullah’s house.

Inspector Khan said that in a pre-dawn raid at the house on Thursday, the police arrested the two boys, namely Khalid and Zubair, and made them part of the investigation.

The officer said Sumaira, Ali, Maria and Azam are part of a local women trafficking ring, which is being run by an unidentified man from interior Sindh.

He said Sumaira adopts residence in relatively poor areas of Karachi and then befriends young girls, adding that the rescued girls said that Sumaira had told them that their parents are poor and cannot help them enjoy a lavish lifestyle.

The girls told the police that Sumaira had promised to spend money on them during their friendship. Sumaira then forced the girls to go out of the city with her, and on their refusal, threatened to tell everything about them to their parents.

The teenagers said they realised that they had been trapped, so they started keeping their distance from Sumaira, but they accepted her proposal when the woman threatened to get their families killed.

According to the girls’ statement to the police, they went to Sumaira’s house, from where they were handed over to another woman and then they were taken to the Gulistan-e-Jauhar house.

Inspector Khan said that when the police conducted the raid at Maria’s residence, a man hoping to pay for the two girls was also present there, but he managed to escape. He said Ali has no relation with Sumaira, adding that at every residence the woman adopts, she lives with a different man, whom she presents as her husband to the locals.

The inspector said the rescued girls were taken to the Women Police Station, from where they were sent to a hospital for a medical examination, adding that their blood samples have been collected and they have been called in on Friday (today) for a DNA and a physical examination.

Khan said Sumaira is in judicial custody, while Ali is in police custody until April 21. He said another suspect, Azam, was presented before a court on Thursday and the judge sent him into police custody.