Strong action initiated against agents who deceitfully sent Indians to Russia: MEA

New Delhi, March 8 (IANS) The Ministry of External Affairs said on Friday that it has initiated strong action against agents and unscrupulous elements who deceitfully sent Indian nationals to Russia under the pretext of providing them with security guard jobs.

The remarks came after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) busted a ring trafficking Indians to Russia raiding over 10 locations in seven cities associated with the agents.

“Strong action has been initiated against agents and unscrupulous elements who recruited them on false pretexts and promises,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesman, Randhir Jaiswal, said addressing a weekly media briefing.

He informed that India has strongly taken up the matter with the Russian government for the early discharge of its nationals stuck there.

The CBI raids were conducted in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Ambala, Chandigarh, and Madurai, following which some suspects were detained for questioning, and it reportedly emerged that the number of Indians sent by these firms to Russia is 35.

Spokesperson Jaiswal said that the agency has collected incriminating evidence from the raids and a case of human trafficking has been registered against several agents.

He urged citizens to be cautious of the offers made by job agents.

“We once again appealed to Indian nationals to not be swayed by offers made by agents for support jobs with the Russian army. This is fraught with danger and risk to life.”

We remain committed to the early release of our nationals serving as support staff with the Russian army and the eventual return home,” Jaiswal added

A second Indian national, 30-year-old Mohammed Asfan from Hyderabad, died this week while serving with the Russian Army on the frontlines of the conflict with Ukraine, raising pressure on the Indian government to seek early discharge of citizens in the conflict zone.

Before Asfan, 23-year-old Hemal Ashwinbhai Mangukiya from Gujarat was killed in a Ukrainian air strike.

He had travelled to Russia last December and was serving as a “security helper” with the Russian Army at Donetsk.

Jaiswal said that the Indian authorities are in touch with the families of both victims and are trying to get their mortal remains back to India as soon as possible.

“We are in touch with the Russian authorities. The deaths happened some distance away, in areas far away from the capital, so there are certain procedures to be followed. We are doing that and doing our best to bring back the mortal remains,” Jaiswal said.



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