Passports of 37 Gujarat families held captive in Turkey snatched
hese families had gone to Turkey to travel to Mexico from where they were supposed to cross the US border
Police investigating cases involving illegal immigration to the US have found that an accomplice of human traffickers has disappeared with the passports of 37 families which have been held captive by the traffickers in Istanbul, Turkey. These families had gone to Turkey to travel to Mexico from where they were supposed to cross the US border.
Sources in the police said that the man identified as Ali Khan worked with a group of people smugglers in Istanbul and he snatched away the passports from the families.
He is using the documents as leverage to extort money from the families, police said.
"When these Gujarati families were taken to different rented apartments in Istanbul, Khan was providing logistical support to the people smugglers," said a Gujarat Police officer.
After disappearing with the documents, Khan began demanding money from the families. Sources in the police said that even the people smugglers who had brought the families to Turkey do not know about Khan's whereabouts.
These families were put up in flats between January 10 and 20. "The Gujarati families were getting all sorts of luxuries at the flats through the money provided by two Gujarat-based angadias," said another police officer. "So the Turkish mafia decided to extort more money from them."
The officer added, "Meanwhile, Khan came into picture. He demanded up to 2,000 Turkish lira (about Rs 10,000) from each family. When the families were unable to pay, he vanished with their passports."
Now, the challenge to rescue the families has become tougher because they have no travel documents. Police said 118 Gujarati families hailing from Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, and Mehsana are stranded in Turkey.