COCHIN, India (CNS) — The Catholic Bishops’ Council of Kerala dismissed the secretary of its youth commission, who has been charged as part of a human trafficking ring.
Father Stephen Alathara, spokesman for the council, also said Nov. 17 it would conduct an investigation into the priest’s activities, reported the Press Trust of India.
In November, police included Syro-Malabar Father Jaison Kollannur as part of a five-person ring that allegedly tried to traffic 42 young Indians to Houston under the pretext of attending a student exchange program.
The Asian church news agency UCA News said the five, including Father Kollannur, faked certificates to say the Indians were experts in education.
“It’s most unfortunate that the priest misused his official position,” Father Alathara said.
Kerala Home Minister Thiruvanchiyur Radhakrishnan said he had directed the director general of police to make a detailed probe into trafficking networks in Kerala.
“We will be taking action against those found guilty,” he said. “I warn people not to fall into the trap set by these networks.”
A police official said the case was flagged when the U.S. consulate in Chennai told police that seven people taking part in visa interviews did not have the required educational qualifications.
UCA News reported that police said Father Kollannur confessed to his involvement in human trafficking as a means of raising cash for foreign trips, adding that he received about $1,000 for sending each person to the United States.
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
or by credit card: