The CBI on Friday said that it has registered a case against five persons, including a woman from Punjab, for trying to traffic minors to the United States for an "educational trip".
According to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR, the case was registered after a complaint was made by the US embassy and a preliminary enquiry was conducted.
The CBI has named Balraj Singh, owner of Kings Punjab Travels, Gagan Gupta, a resident of Pathankot, Chetan Sabharwal, a resident of Chandigarh, Lovepreet Singh, a resident of Tarn Taran and Tilak Raj of Hoshiarpur in Punjab and other unknown persons.
In its e-mail complaint to the CBI on February 7, 2018, the US Embassy's Assistant Regional Security Officer-Investigator William J Aylward said that on August 10, 2017, a United Airlines security official posted at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) in Delhi contacted the US embassy officials to report that a woman by the name of Gagan Gupta was attempting to travel to the US with four children.
"The United Airlines officials stated that the children and Gupta were unable to corroborate the reason for travelling to the US and the physical appearances of the children did not match with the photos in their passports."
The CBI registered a preliminary enquiry on April 28, 2018.
During investigations, it was found that Gupta was attempting to traffic the children namely Amanpreet Singh Multani, Akashdeep Singh, Mohit and an unidentified child under the assumed names of Karanveer Singh, Sambhav, Milan Mehra and Inderdeep to the US as students of St Joseph's Convent School.
"She misrepresented herself as principal of St Joseph's Convent School, authorised to take the minors for an 'educational trip' to the US," the agency said.
The CBI also found that Balraj Singh helped in arranging the visas and school identity cards for the children, while Sabharwal had earlier approached the school for facilitating an "education tour" to the US for its students. He had also facilitated interviews for the students and staff members with the US embassy in New Delhi.
Lovepreet Singh and Tilak Raj were booked for helping in bringing the children from Punjab to New Delhi and arranging for their accommodation and tickets to the US.
The agency charged them under sections of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and human trafficking.
In a similar case of trafficking, the CBI also registered a case against Kala, a resident of Punjab and Aryan, a resident of Delhi, over illegal trafficking of minor girls to Kenya on the pretext of providing employment.
Three girls were rescued by the Indian High Commission in Kenya.