Centre warns against offers of jobs with Russian Army

People walk past an advertising billboard which promotes contract military service in the Russian Army with words in Russian “Contract service in the armed forces is what I do”, at an underground station in St. Petersburg, Russia. File
| Photo Credit: AP

Offers for support jobs with the Russian Army made by unverified agents are “fraught with danger and risk to life”, the External Affairs Ministry said on Friday, announcing that stern action has been initiated by the Central Bureau of Investigation against the agencies that conned Indian nationals into fighting for the Russian forces in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Also read: About 100 Indians were recruited as Russian Army helpers in the past year, Russian official says

“We have strongly taken up the matter with the Russian government for early discharge of such Indian nationals (who were duped by agents). Strong action has been initiated against agents and unscrupulous elements who recruited them on pretexts and false promises. The CBI yesterday busted a major human trafficking network by conducting searches in several cities and collecting incriminating evidence,” said Randhir Jaiswal, spokesperson of the Ministry.

The CBI on Thursday searched 13 locations in Delhi, Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai, Ambala, Chandigarh, Madurai, and Chennai.

The agency had come across 35 instances of people sent abroad.

‘Fraught with danger’

“We once again appeal to Indian nationals, do not be swayed by offers made by agents for support jobs with the Russian Army. This is fraught with danger and risk to life,” Mr. Jaiswal said during the weekly briefing.

Watch | Two years of Russia-Ukraine war: How Russia and the world are changing

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday concluded the searches in connection with the case against visa consultancy firms and agents, alleging their involvement in the trafficking of Indian nationals to Russia on the pretext of employment opportunities. No arrests have been made so far.

“These traffickers have been operating as an organised network and were luring Indian nationals through social media channels like YouTube etc. and also through their local contacts/agents for highly paid jobs in Russia. Thereafter, the trafficked Indian nationals were trained in combat roles and deployed at front bases in the Russia-Ukraine war zone against their wishes, thus, putting their lives in grave danger. It has been ascertained that some of the victims also got grievously injured in the war zone,” the CBI said.

Upon reaching Russia, their passports were taken away by the agents there. “They were being trained in combat roles and provided with the Russian Army uniform and badges,” the agency alleged.

Among those named in the first information report (FIR) are 24×7 RAS Overseas Foundation (Delhi) and its director Suyash Mukut; O.S.D Bros Travels & Visa Services (Mumbai) and its director Rakesh Pandey; Adventure Visa Services (Ambala, Chandigarh, Punjab) and its director Manjeet Singh; Baba Vlogs Overseas Recruitment Solutions (Dubai) and its director Faisal Abdul Mutalib Khan.

The others include Srividhya (Madurai), Ramesh Kumar Palanisamy and Santhosh (currently based in Russia) from Tamil Nadu; Tomy and Job from Thiruvananthapuram; Adventure Visa Services (Ambala) and Tanu Kant Sharma (Palwal, Haryana); Christina, a resident of Russia; Mohammed Sufiyan Dawood Ahmad Darugar and his wife Pooka from Palghar, Maharashtra; and Moinuddin Chhippa (Rajasthan), who is currently in Russia.

The agency said the human traffickers and the agents were also duping Indians by getting them enrolled in dubious private universities in Russia, by offering them free/discounted visa extensions and fees.

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