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CHILD survivors of the Nepal earthquake are being sold to British families as household slaves

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The Sun

CHILD survivors of the Nepal earthquake are being sold to British families as household slaves, an investigation by The Sun can reveal.

Our undercover team was offered boys and girls as young as ten for just £5,250 by one gang selling children of Nepalese refugees and penniless Indian families like cattle.

Slave trader Makkhan Singh lined up kids to pick from and said: “We have supplied lads who have gone on to the UK.

“Take a Nepalese to England. They are good people. They are good at doing housework and they’re very good cooks. No one is going to come after you.”

Our investigation began in Jalandhar, a sprawling city close to the Nepalese border and 50 miles from the golden temple of Amritsar.

Here, gangs prey on families hit by last April’s earthquake which killed 9,000 people.

They fled across the border seeking safety but found themselves skint and homeless.

The gangs also target dirt-poor families from the Indian state of Bihar who head to the city seeking work but instead end up on the streets with too many mouths to feed.

Slave traders sell their kids to rich families who lock them up at home in India while training them and arranging dodgy travel documents.

A thriving trade in bribery for paperwork means they can bring slaves to the UK as orphaned relatives they adopted or as legitimate domestic members of their household.

A Sun investigator posed as a wealthy Sikh living in Britain with a sick wife and elderly mother looking for a housemaid or houseboy.

He was ordered to a temple, where slave trader Singh turned up on a motorbike and led him to a secluded spot to talk privately.

Unaware he was being secretly filmed, Singh said: “I can supply the boy. But as to taking him into the UK and the documents you will need, that’s your responsibility.”

Our man asked if it was possible to take the boy to England, and Singh replied: “Of course he can go. We have supplied boys who have actually gone on to the UK. What you do with him’s up to you.”

When our man asked if there was a problem obtaining children for sale, Singh shrugged: “India is flooded with boys. Nepal has been destroyed and all the Nepalese are here.

“We go to the poor parents, we talk to them, we do a deal.”

He said: “Minimum three years you’ve got to keep them here. Train them, make them work for you here. Get them into a routine. Then you can start getting documents for them. If you want my advice, take a 12 or 13-year-old.”

Singh wanted 500,000 rupees, or £5,250, and offered a choice of a child from Nepal or Bihar.

Referring to marijuana as a common weed in the area, he sneered: “Bihari’s best, there’s plenty. Each family has eight to ten kids. There’s more Bihari children in India than marijuana plants.”

When told our man needed a skivvy to care for an old parent and sick wife, Singh replied: “I’m giving you some advice, go for a Nepalese. It’s up to you. Most of the ones taken to England are Nepalese. You must have seen them there.”

Our man asked: “I’m a little bit scared. Of the kids you have supplied already, have any gone to England?”

Singh replied: “Plenty have gone. But the procedure is you make the application, and it takes some time.”

He then arranged to meet our man again so he could pick one, adding: “You select one and pay me, and then you fly off with him.

“After, you don’t know me, I don’t know you, we’ve never met, and we don’t take returns.”

A day later he took our man to a field where he had arranged a heart-rending line-up of child slaves.

Sat on a bench were Amit, ten, 12-year-old girl Pooja and Susti Ram, 13.

Singh, who referred to the kids as stock, ordered each one to stand up and say their age. Pooja told our man: “My nickname is Pretty.”

He guaranteed that all three were healthy and ready to work. And he explained that he had contacts who could arrange the paperwork to bring them into the UK.

Singh, who boasted that he had been trading children for eight years, added: “Do the deal first. You’re not taking them straight to England.

“You don’t need the documents straight away. We know plenty of people who can do the documents. We’ve got a good network. They are your household. They work for you and you feed them.”

He spoke sharply to the three children, barking, “Are you ready to work for him?”. They all replied: “Yes Sir.”

Our man asked if Singh sold children younger than ten, but he explained: “There’s no point having younger ones. They’ll be crying, missing their parents.

“They won’t be able to work. And then you’re going to come back to complain.

“What you need is kids who have the ability to work. Look, there they are.”

He refused to haggle on the price, insisting: “I’ve got to pay their parents and I’ve got to make a bit. Every penny is accounted for. You’re not our only customer.

“We’ve got 20 others to supply. I normally do the deal in five or ten minutes.”

He said: “You do the deal, pay me the money and you’re away free. You buy the kids and off you go.”

Our man made his excuses and left with his driver.

May call to tackle gangs in vile trade

Theresa May

THERESA May urged the National Crime Agency to investigate The Sun’s findings.

The Home Secretary said last night: “Child trafficking is a truly abhorrent crime.

“No child should be forced into slavery.

“That is why we introduced the Modern Slavery Act last year, which included enhanced protections for potential child victims and sentences up to life imprisonment for those guilty.

“We encourage The Sun to share its findings with the police and NCA so action can be taken against criminals who profit from this trade.”

Bharti Patel, of anti-child slavery charity Ecpat UK, praised our probe.

She said: “The children that are the most vulnerable are the most at risk.

“That is why raising awareness though the media is so vital.”

 

1,000 are trafficked in a year

AROUND 1,000 children are believed to have been trafficked into the UK last year.

It is a big increase over 2014’s figure of more than 600.

Most are said to be used as domestic slaves or for sexual exploitation.

The anti-child slavery charity Ecpat UK said: “We need to train people to spot warning signs that a child is being abused.

“The children think they owe something to their captors. It is all they’ve ever known in a lot of cases.

“It is a whole underground world that is very hard to believe is taking place in our country.”

A charity worker told The Sun there were fears of a rise in numbers reported to have been trafficked for their organs.

Profits from the global slave trade top £20billion a year, with India having the highest number of enslaved people.

Other countries where gangs supply kids include Albania, Vietnam and Nigeria.

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