CID said that after trafficking the women, the arrestees detained and tortured the victims in many ways if they refused to obey their commands
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Bangladesh Police has arrested the ringleader and two other members of a notorious international human trafficking ring involved in forcing young Bangladeshi women into prostitution in Dubai, a city in the United Arab Emirates, after trafficking them using tourist visas.
CID's Deputy Inspector General (Organized Crime Unit) Imtiaz Ahmed disclosed the matter at a press briefing at the CID headquarters in Dhaka on Sunday.
The arrestees were identified as Azam Khan, 42, ringleader of the trafficking syndicate, and his two associates Anwar Hossain Moyna and Alamin alias Diamond.
In the briefing, CID said that after trafficking the women, the arrestees detained and tortured the victims in many ways, including giving electric shocks, if they refused to obey their commands.
Azam, a resident of Fatikchhari in Chittagong, is an accused in 15 cases filed against him in Bangladesh. Of those, six are murder cases.
The law enforcement agency, however, did not disclose the place and time of arrest of the trio for the sake of investigation.
The CID official said they filed a case with Lalbagh police station on July 2 and Azam Khan, meanwhile, confessed to his involvement in the human trafficking trade before a Dhaka court under Section 164 of Code of Criminal Procedure.
In Dubai, Azam owns four hotels -- Hotel Fortune Royal, Fortune Grand Hotel, City Tower Hotel, and Fortune Pearl Hotel and Dance Club. Of those, the first three are four-star standard, DIG Imtiaz said.
Azam has trafficked more than a thousand women, particularly 18 to 20 years of age, in the last eight years from Bangladesh, luring them with jobs with a salary of Tk50,000 per month, he said.
There are several travel agencies, two foreign airlines, and more than 50 brokers as his associates in Bangladesh, Imtiaz continued.
"Azam himself used to work on human trafficking tactics. His two brothers also work as his accomplices and they have gone into hiding in Dubai."
Bangladesh Embassy in the UAE confiscated Azam's passport after the country brought allegations of human trafficking against him, Imtiaz said, adding that Azam fled to Bangladesh with an exit pass later.
Azam's mobile phone contains audio clips of over hundred women who were crying to return to Bangladesh, he added.
Meanwhile, the organized crime team has seized several audio files from Azam’s mobile phone. A copy of the files has been obtained by this correspondent.
In the audio, one of the victims was heard crying and requesting Azam for allowing her to return home. But did not answer those Whatsapp calls, said DIG Imtiaz Ahmed.
In the audio call, the victim said: “My mother is very sick at home, even unable to talk now. Please, let me go home.”
Another victim was heard saying: “You have brought us to Dubai on a waiter visa, with an assurance of a monthly Tk50,000 salary, but you have not paid anything in the last 6 months.”