13 Indians get six-month jail in Tanzania for forged documents

Kolkata: Thirteen Indian labourers, including eight from West Bengal, have been sentenced to six months of imprisonment in eastern Africa’s Tanzania for allegedly travelling without valid documents, an official from National Anti-trafficking Committee (NATC) said on Sunday.

The labourers were allegedly promised a lucrative salary and sent to Tanzania for doing carpenter’s job last October by an agent from West Bengal but they were detained on arrival at the airport there as their documents were forged.

The police said they have already arrested the agent involved in supplying forged documents to the eight labourers from West Bengal.

“As per our information eight persons from West Bengal’s Nadia district have been arrested by the Tanzania government. We have filed a case in the district’s Hanskhali Police Station and arrested one person in this connection,” Nadia District Superintendent of Police (DSP) Rupesh Kumar told IANS.

According to the anti-trafficking unit, they received the complaint from the family members of the victims earlier this month.

“They reached Tanzania on October 27 and were promised visa on arrival. But they were detained by the local immigration authorities till November 7, as the labour permits given to them, turned out to be fake,” NATC Chairman Sheikh Jinnar Ali told IANS.

“They were produced in Tanzania court in Dar es Salaam city and have been given six months of imprisonment for illegal entry,” he said.

Ali said they laid a trap for the accused agent named Srimanta Biswas after contacting him for jobs in foreign countries in return of money and informed the police after tracing him out.

The anti-trafficking unit has already written to the Ministry of External Affairs, Prime Minister’s Office and the respective state administrations on November 23.

“The authority concerned is taking the necessary action. We are hoping to bring the labourers back to India within the next 4-5 days,” Ali added.