THE MUMBAI Police Crime Branch on Wednesday arrested four persons for allegedly running a sex racket in the city through a website. Police said they rescued four girls, who were brought from different parts of the country before lockdown and forced into the flesh trade. They added that they were investigating others involved in the alleged racket.
According to police, on Tuesday, an officer from the Crime Branch (Unit VIII) received a tip-off that a particular mobile number was put up on a website for “escort services”. When a crime branch officer called the number claiming to be interested, a person, identifying as Ranjeet, sent him photographs of three women and asked him to choose one, police said.
A deal was struck at Rs 5,000, to be paid outside a hotel at Kandivali and, accordingly, police arrested Ranjeet, who arrived at the spot with a girl.
“On further interrogation, he told us about three more girls being kept at a house in Dahisar with three other men. Accordingly, we raided the spot and arrested the three men,” a crime branch officer said.
Police said besides Ranjeet, three other men, identified as Basant Mandal (32), Shambhu Yadav (39) and Ashishkumar Rajak (24), were placed under arrest. All hail from Jharkhand and were living in Dahisar.
Police said during interrogation, they found that the women were either from Uttar Pradesh or West Bengal and were promised work in Mumbai by a man called Sanjay. “They were brought to the city before lockdown and forced into prostitution. The accused would take 60 per cent of what the women made,” an officer added.
An officer added, “We are still on the lookout for Sanjay. We will also be making inquiries with the website, as we have found that it has often been misused for flesh trade.”
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