The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has busted a trafficking racket that sent Indian nationals to Russia under the guise of 'better employment', only to make them fight the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

According to officials, these traffickers were operating as an organised network, luring Indian nationals through social media platforms like YouTube etc., and also through their local contacts/agents for 'highly-paid jobs' in Russia.

"The trafficked Indian nationals were then trained in combat roles and deployed at the front bases in the war zone against their wishes, thus putting their lives in grave danger," said a senior CBI officer.

As per the CBI, it has been ascertained that some of the victims also got grievously injured in the war zone.

"A case of human trafficking was registered on Wednesday against private visa consultancy firms, agents, and others who were found engaged in trafficking Indian nationals to Russia under the guise of better employment and high-paying jobs. The racket was spread over several states across the country," the officer said.

The CBI is conducting simultaneous searches at around 13 locations in Delhi, Trivandrum, Mumbai, Ambala, Chandigarh, Madurai and Chennai, the officer added.

"So far, cash amounting to over Rs 50 lakh, incriminating documents, and electronic gadgets like laptops, mobile phones, and desktops have been seized. The searches are going on," he said.

"Certain suspects have also been detained for questioning at various locations. So far, around 35 instances of victims being sent abroad have been established," the officer said.

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