Men trying to ‘illegally enter US held hostage for ransom’


AMBALA: A number of videos of Indians, purportedly of illegal immigrants wanting to unlawfully cross over to the United States through the Mexico border, have emerged in which they are seen being tortured by unidentified men and forced at gunpoint to ask their families to transfer money. In the videos with TOI, three Indian men, seen locked up in a room, are heard speaking in Hindi with a Haryanvi accent.
Two Spanish-speaking men, with their faces covered, are seen assaulting them at gunpoint. Holding a sword-like sharp weapon on their necks, the men are heard asking the Indians to tell their parents to send money as soon as possible. “Money, money… Last warning,” they shout at the Indians.
The identities of these Indians have yet not been established and any information about their whereabouts is also unknown. In one of the videos, an Indian youth is heard saying, “Mom and dad, give them money or they will kill us. I beg in front of you, please give them the amount of money they are demanding. They are demanding $10,000 and give them the same.” On October 18, 311 Indians were deported from Mexico after the US government tightened its rules and asked Mexican authorities to thwart illegal entry into the US.
These videos have been obtained from several of those who were among the 311 Indians to be deported from Mexico. “The donkers (agents) abroad had tortured them mentally and physically,” one of the deportees said. Requesting anonymity, he told TOI, “The agents in India promised to settle me and my brother in the US for Rs 30 lakh.
We paid Rs 25.50 lakh in advance and they took us on a journey towards the US. They took us through aerial route from New Delhi to Quito in Ecuador and then we were made to travel through illegal passage via Tulcan, Turbo, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico. “In Turbo, Colombia, we were locked in a room and taken on gunpoint and forced to ask our parents to pay the remaining amount of Rs 4.5 lakh to their associated agents in India. My parents went to the house of that agent and paid the remaining amount.”


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