Human trafficking scam accused Rasheed remanded in police custody


New Delhi : A Delhi court Friday remanded Rasheed Ali, the prime accused in the human trafficking scam involving Bharatiya Janata Party MP Babubhai Katara, in seven days' police custody.

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The Hyderabad-based travel agent, who was presented before the Patiala House court, was brought to Delhi earlier in the day.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kamini Lau also extended the judicial custody of Katara and four others by another 14 days.

The four are: Delhi betel shop owner Sunderlal Yadav, a tenant of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP Mitrasen Yadav, Katara's private aide Rajendra Gampa, travel agent Santu Mashi and Kiran Dhar, who used to train women on how to behave while flying abroad posing as wives or relatives of MPs.

Lau then adjourned Katara's bail plea hearing to June 8.

"Rasheed was brought from Hyderabad in Rajdhani Express here at around 7.00 a.m. His presence was sought for further probe into the well-organised international human trafficking scam," Deputy Commissioner of Police A.S. Cheema had earlier said.

According to Cheema, Rasheed was involved in arraigning clients for Katara along with two other agents who were arrested here in April.

Rasheed's name came up during investigations in the trafficking scandal, which came to light on April 18 with the arrest of Katara at the Delhi airport while he was trying to smuggle out a woman and a boy to Toronto on the passports of his wife and son.

The teenaged boy and the women have already procured bail.

Three Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MPs from Uttar Pradesh – Mitrasen Yadav (Faizabad), Ashok Rawat (Misrikh) and Mohammed Tahir Khan (Sultanpur) – and Ramswaroop Koli of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who represents Bayana in Rajasthan, have already been questioned in connection with the case.