Four Telugu persons booked for human trafficking in Princeton, USA

It was found that the women were forced to work for multiple shell companies owned by Santosh Katkoori and his wife Dwaraka Gunda.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jul 09, 2024 | 4:24 PM Updated Jul 09, 2024 | 4:29 PM

Human trafficking

The Princeton police in Texas, USA, on Monday, 8 July issued arrest warrants against four Telugu people under the charges of human trafficking—which is a second-degree felony.

All four individuals belong to Texas— Santhosh Katkoori (31) of Melissa, Dwaraka Gunda (31) of Melissa, Chandan Dasireddy (24) of Melissa, and Anil Male (37) of Prosper.

The operation began on 13 March, 2024, following a “welfare concern and suspicious circumstance” from the 1000 block of Ginsburg Lane.

According to the press release of the Princeton police, “After further investigation of the initial report, Princeton Police CID detectives obtained a search warrant for the home of Santhosh Katkoori, where 15 adult females were located.”

It was found that the women were forced to work for multiple shell companies owned by Santosh Katkoori and his wife Dwaraka Gunda.

Further investigations found that forced labour and human trafficking were ongoing in multiple locations in Princeton, Melissa, and McKinney. It was found that the victims included adult males.

The search operation also seized multiple laptops, cell phones, printers, and fraudulent documents from all the locations.

Upon examining the electronics and documents, the human trafficking operation was confirmed leading to the issuing of arrest warrants.

Also Read: 300 trafficked Indians ‘revolt’ against handlers in Cambodia

How did the police come to know?

As per the local reports, the police found that the 15 women were forced to stay in an unfurnished home, with only electronics, folding tables and a few blankets.

According to an affidavit, a pest control company was called to a home on Ginsburg Lane for possible bed bugs.

The pest control inspector found that each room was cohabitated by three-five women, who were sleeping on the floor, and also saw that there were a lot of suitcases. Growing suspicious of the circumstances, the pest control company informed the police.

Speaking to Fox 4, Princeton Police Sgt. Carolyn Crawford said that about 100 people were involved, “Of those 100 people, more than half are victims, as for the others, more arrests are expected.”

Princeton Police Chief James Waters speaking to the same media channel explained that his team had been working on the case for months along with other federal agencies.

Calling the situation unique, he said, “They would unravel just a multitude of other clues and a multitude of other scenes that were going out there.”

Speaking to the news channel, neighbours residing in the area too expressed shock regarding the incident.

(Edited by Sumavarsha Kandula)

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