A man from Pune, working with a prominent private company, recently got a call on his cellphone from a woman offering to pay him for joining a “Gigolo club”. The youth, Pravin (name changed), filed a complaint with cyber cell of the Pune city police.
“I got a call on my cellphone around 10.30 am on July 23, 2016. The caller, a woman, was speaking Marathi. She first told me they had a club named Gigolo club, which offered free massage to people. She then directly told me that if I established physical relationship with some women in the city, they would pay me. I asked the woman her name and Aadhar number and whether making such random calls to public was legal. She said it was. I cut the call in anger after a conversation of just over two minutes,” Pravin (30) told The Indian Express.
He said this was the first time he had received such a call. “It was not only shocking but also worrying if youngsters fall prey to such rackets. So I wrote down my experience and circulated it on social media to make people aware of such wrong practices,” he said.
After discussion with some friends who read his message, Pravin decided to inform the police about the incident. “Last week, I wrote to the cyber cell of police through email about my experience and also shared the mobile number from which I had received the call. I hope the police probe this number to reach the culprits,” he said.
Deputy commissioner of police (cyber cell) Deepak Sakore said they were looking into this matter. Sakore said that while the cyber cell had not received such a complaint in the past where someone got a direct such call, police officers knew about gigolo rackets being active in Pune in the guise of friendship clubs.
“Information about such clubs are spread through advertisements in certain newspapers, websites and social media services. Also, there have been incidents in which men were asked to pay some money as registration fees on assurance of meetings with women. But after the money is paid, there is no further contact. The men who are cheated rarely come forward to lodge complaints,” an officer said, adding that people should come forward with complaints in such cases and that their identities would be kept confidential.
Lack of female decoy hampers police probe
A police officer, who has earlier worked with the crime branch of Pune city police, said, “We received information from sources about a possible gigolo racket, where in some agents were supplying males for prostitution. We spoke to legal experts who said it was an offence under sections of the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA). But we could not bust this racket as we were not able to hire a female decoy for laying the trap.”
The officer said racketeers tried to lure males by offering money and claiming that male prostitution was legal. “Also, the racketeers make it look like adult males and females are willingly coming together, which is not illegal. So, it becomes difficult for the police to take action,” the officer said.