32 Kerala nurses ‘rescued from traffickers’ at Bengaluru airport

BENGALURU: Thirty-two women nursing graduates from Kerala, suspected to be victims of a human trafficking racket, were on Tuesday rescued at when they were on their way to pursue a short-term course to learn German at (UTMA).

Kala Krishnaswamy, deputy commissioner of police (northeast division), said police registered a case of attempted human trafficking based on a complaint from KIA immigration officials and arrested Tony Tom, who was taking the women to Armenia. Most of the women had studied in Mangaluru.

The police officer said Tom runs an education consultancy in Mangaluru and offered to facilitate the study at UTMA. Tom was accompanying the women who came to the airport on Monday night to catch a flight for Armenia around 4am on Tuesday. Immigration officials suspected foul play as they doubted the very existence of such a course in the university. They handed over the accused and the women to BIAL police for investigation.

Women were promised return tickets

Police said the women found a newspaper ad about the course and ed Tony Tom’s Hopesyn Education International in Mangaluru. The institute assured nursing students jobs in reputed hospitals abroad if they could speak German and they signed up for the German course at UTMA.

Kala said each woman paid Rs 30,000 towards air ticket and visa procedures and $1,200 as course fee to Tony Tom. “We’re not sure what he would have done with the girls in Armenia if there’s no such course at UTMA. We booked him for attempted human trafficking and arrested him,” the DCP said.

BIAL police recorded the statements of all 32 women. They told police Tom had promised them return tickets from Armenia and that the course would be over in two months.

Police sources said immigration officials suspect it’s a human trafficking case as UTMA is a medical science university and students were being taken for a German-language course. BIAL police said they’re verifying Tony Tom’s antecedents. He’s from Kerala and started the education consultancy in Kankanady area of Mangaluru.

Download The Times of India for Latest .

Receive News & Ratings Via Email - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings with our FREE daily email newsletter.