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September 27, 2021

Mom Willingly Trafficked Herself to Rescue 16-Year-Old Daughter Kidnapped by Traffickers

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A Bangladeshi mother was determined to handle things on her own when her teenage daughter was abducted by human traffickers. Not knowing what else to do, she ended up trafficking herself to rescue her missing daughter. 

Mothers are known for their incessant and unconditional love for their children, and this mother's story is nothing less than remarkable. Her bravery and courage in the face of bleak consequences enabled her to save her daughter.

34-year-old Asiya went through hell and back when her 16-year-old daughter Marium fell prey to a cross-border trafficking ring. To ensure confidentiality and safety, the names of the mother-daughter duo have been changed.

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The mother-daughter duo's incredible tale was brought to light when they were found trying to re-enter Bangladesh from India in June. Everyone, including the Indian border officials, was left baffled by their spectacular rescue story. Asiya told VICE World News: 

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“I did it not just for my eldest daughter. It was for many others, too."

On January 15, a family acquaintance offered a job to Marium, and she accepted it because it seemed a good fit. Since the job offer was in a district near the Indian border, the man asked her to pack up and leave, and she complied.

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But when the recruiter handed her over to two other men, it dawned upon Marium that something was terribly wrong. The men then took her to the border, where she was pushed into a boat. She sobbed and resisted, but her efforts were in vain. 

He noted that while the traffickers keep changing their strategies, fake job offers, love affairs and marriage remain constant. 

Eventually, her efforts paid off. A fellow passenger gave their mobile phone to Marium, who immediately called her mother and told her to come and save her as she was being taken to India. She also shared the name of her perpetrators before the phone was snatched. 

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Marium was taken to a brothel located in the eastern Indian state of Bihar. Back home in Dhaka, Asiya was worried sick and hurried to the police station, filing a missing person complaint about her daughter. 

While the police had promised her an investigation, there were no developments whatsoever, and she was tired after waiting for 40 days. She then decided to see things herself, and in February, she traced a man who Marium had named on the phone. 

Asiya told the man she was interested in a job abroad and was happy to hear that there happened to be one in India. She then took out all her savings, which included Taka 60,000 ($703). After hiding the money under a wig and wrapping a scarf on her head, she left. 

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When Asiya came to a brothel in New Delhi, India, there was no sign of Marium. Later, she discovered that all girls were not taken to the same place. In June, she received a call from her husband, who told her that Marium had called him through a client's phone. 

Soon afterward, Asiya set out in search of her daughter, who was in a brothel about 800 miles away from New Delhi. Thanks to cooperation from Marium's clients and a few locals, she was able to find her daughter in New Delhi on the night of June 18.  

According to the brothel owner, Marium had been bought for $3,404 from Bangladesh. Her captors, Mohammad Kalu, 40, Mohammad Shohag, 32, and Billal Hossain, 41, were arrested by Bangladesh's special security force, the Rapid Action Battalion.

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They'd been operating a huge trafficking ring and sold every victim for $1,173 to $1,760. Around 20,000 Bangladeshi women and children are said to be trafficked across the unfenced Indian border every year. 

The director of the Bangladeshi chapter of Justice and Care, Mohammad Tariqul Islam, also expressed his views on the mother-daughter rescue story. 

He noted that while the traffickers keep changing their strategies, fake job offers, love affairs, and marriage remain constant. 

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