India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has charged three men with human trafficking after 22 of 25 boys from northern India sent to participate in a rugby training camp in Paris went missing, a spokesman for the agency said Saturday.
The accused, who are travel agents based in and around Delhi, had collected money from the parents of each boy aged between 13 and 18 to send them to Paris on the pretext of attending a rugby camp, CBI spokesman Abhishek Dayal said.
"They did attend a camp for about a week after which their return tickets were cancelled and they were left in a local gurdwara (Sikh temple) from where they went missing," Dayal said.
"The French police came across one of the boys several months later and contacted us through Interpol. Our investigations led to these three men."
A total of 25 boys were flown out for the "camp" on February 1, 2016, Dayal said. They belonged to two schools in the town of Kapurthala in the state of Punjab.
The parents of each child were charged 2,500,000 to 3,000,000 rupees (39,000-47,000 dollars), Dayal said. The CBI would be questioning the parents soon.
They students got visas from the French Embassy in Delhi after showing forged and fabricated documents including an invitation to attend an international rugby training camp from a Paris-based federation, Dayal said.
Two of the boys managed to return before their tickets were cancelled while a third was caught by the French police. Another 22 boys are missing.
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