01/20/2016, 19.17
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Nepal discovers new sex slave route

by Christopher Sharma

Traffickers move women with false papers between Nepal, India and Sri Lanka, and then send them to the Middle East. Fair-skinned Nepali girls and young women get the highest price. The arrest in New Delhi of Pooja, a young Nepali woman, set of the investigation.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Nepali police discovered a new route used by traffickers to smuggle sex slaves. The women are moved between Nepal, India and Sri Lanka before travelling to the Middle East and Africa where they are sold off. The authorities cracked the case when, Pooja, a 28-year-old woman from Nepal’s Banke District, was arrested in New Delhi on 11 January with false papers.

At the time of her arrest, the young woman was at the city’s international airport on her way to Colombo. Currently, she is being held at the Tihar Jail for further investigations. The Patiala Courthouse in New Delhi placed her under judicial custody for at least two months.

In her statement, Pooja, who is a mother of four, declared that she wanted to work abroad to pay for the medical care her sick mother needs.

Nepal’s Foreign Employment Department had issued her a work permit on 5 November 2015. In her passport, she was described as a cleaner in Oman.

Balkrishna Pandey, a member of Maiti India, an organisation dedicated to the fight against women trafficking, said that they have "begun the legal process to secure Pooja’s release.”

Recently, sex slave smugglers have favoured the Kathmandu-New Delhi-Colombo route, attracting young women with the promise of a job as house cleaners in Gulf countries.

Once en route, slavers take the women’s papers before selling them off. Fair-skinned Nepali women are particularly prized, and get the best price.

A week ago, five other women were detained in Kathmandu on their way to Colombo via New Delhi.

According to Nepal’s embassy in India, traffickers have come up with more ways to get women into the Gulf States with false papers, passing them off as migrant workers.

"We have been informed that traffickers are sending women to Dhaka or Colombo from Indian airports before trafficking them to destination countries,” an embassy official said.

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