A mobile court on Sunday sealed off a travel agency in the capital's Motijheel and sentenced its owner along with four of his employees to six months' jail for their involvement in human trafficking to Malaysia, using forged travel documents.
The court, led by Executive Magistrate Sarwoer Alam and assisted by a team of Rapid Action Battalion-3, also fined each of the accused Tk 50,000.
During the raid at the agency, the mobile court seized 48 passports, mostly of overseas job seekers, a large number of forged travel documents, 450 US dollars and Indonesian currency worth Tk 7.87 lakh.
The convicts are Kuddus Bepary, 55, owner of Saimon Air Travels; and employees Rabiul Islam, 31, Zakir Hossain, 41, Mintu, 31, and Ariful Islam, 28.
Magistrate Sarwoer said the agency has permission to issue travel tickets only. But to make a quick buck, its owner and the employees were forging travel documents to send people to Malaysia, with the false promise of getting them good jobs there.
The criminals first sent job seekers to India by road or train. From India, they would send them to Indonesia by air. And later on, they would send the job seekers on a perilous journey to enter Malaysia by crossing the sea on boats, the magistrate said.
In August, the travel agency trafficked at least 25 people including seven women to Malaysia and the trafficked people are now going through immense sufferings there, Rab said in a press release.