Kochi: The Crime Branch team investigating a sex racket in Kochi, whereby young girls were taken to the Gulf, received information on Saturday that about 12 girls were transported with the assistance of Kochi airport officials by forging the passports.
The Crime Branch investigation was held on the basis of the complaint from a girl who escaped the clutches of the racket and reached Mumbai. The sex racket operating in the Gulf has links across the country and also has agents operating in the state's major cities, the team said.
The investigating team took statements from the girl who had escaped the racketeers after she was taken to Dubai via Muscat. A passport belonging to a woman in Kattapana was forged for the purpose. "The girl in her statement said that she met several other Keralites in Dubai. There were girls from other countries also. She was taken to an isolated place in Dubai.
The girls were transported with the assistance of Kochi airport officials, said the police.
"The investigation held by the Crime Detachment Wing of the Ernakulam rural police revealed that about 12 girls were transported to the Gulf with the assistance of the airport authorities using forged passport in the last one year. We are trying to identify those girls," a Crime Branch official said.
The key accused in the case are in Dubai and the racket is being run by several Indian agents, including Keralites, with the aid of a few Dubai officials.
Young women, belonging to poor family background, have been the victims of the racket.
"The girl submitted that she was promised the job of a housemaid in Gulf with good salary by a lady living in her neighbourhood. She was told that not even a passport was required for the same. Later, the woman asked for her passport-sized photographs which were used for forging the passport. The girl was then taken to Muscat with the assistance of a Sub-inspector at the airport. After reaching Muscat, she was taken to an isolated camp in Dubai.
Realising the trap, she escaped to Mumbai with the assistance of a few Indians," the official said.
The girl was taken into custody for travelling with a fake passport, once she landed in Mumbai. A complaint was registered and the girl was handed over to the Kerala police.
Biju Kumar, Circle Inspector and investigating team member, said that the team would investigate further about those people in Thiruvananthapuram who had supplied the fake passport.