Four Telugu-origin individuals arrested in US for human trafficking

The women were reportedly forced to sleep on the floor in a home devoid of furniture but filled with computer electronics

Princeton: Four individuals of Telugu origin were arrested in the United States over a connection to a large-scale human trafficking scheme. The Texas police apprehended the four, including a couple, in a major human trafficking operation.

The arrests were made in the backdrop of the discovery of 15 young women living in squalid conditions during a police house raid in March over welfare concerts at Ginsburg Lane in Texas’s Collin County.

The women were reportedly forced to sleep on the floor in a home devoid of furniture but filled with computer electronics. A pest control company had called the house for a potential bed bug issue and alerted authorities of the presence of several young women living in gross negligence.

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The accused, Chandan Dasireddy, 24, Dwaraka Gunda, 31, Santhosh Katkoori, 31, and Anil Male, 37, have been booked for human trafficking, a second-degree felony. According to Texas laws, the punishment may earn a minimum of two years to a maximum of 20 years in prison for the accused.

According to the Princeton police, these accused allegedly forced the victims to work for various shell companies under the ownership of Katkoori and his wife, Dwaraka Gunda. Investigations revealed that the victims, including both women and men, were employed as programmers.

The authorities seized numerous laptops, phones, printers, and fraudulent documents from the Ginsburg Lane residence and other premises in Princeton, Melissa, and McKinney linked to the incident.

Dwaraka Gunda was arrested back in March when it got busted, and Chandan was arrested last month in June.

The IT industry is infamous for the scheme known as body shopping. Body shopping is the practice whereby a firm (body shop) recruits and trains IT workers and then farms them to third parties, including shell companies. Body shops sponsor workers to move to a new country without any job opportunity in existence, and ‘bench’ them to meet only the barest of their bare minimum needs.

Later, such firms farm out their workers to feed outsourced projects of larger companies, earning a profit for themselves. In short, body-shopped workers, often living in squalor conditions, are seasonally employed and will not be granted the vocational safeguards guaranteed under the law.

Telugu states are notorious for being a prominent source of body shopping due to the abundance of cheap labour with the expertise required for the IT industry.

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