Two men were arrested on Monday from a serviced apartment complex, which was previously a hotel, for allegedly running a prostitution racket. The police rescued three women, who had allegedly been lured into prostitution after being promised modelling and acting assignments.
The social service branch of the Mumbai Police had recently received information that agents were contacting aspiring models and actors on video-sharing apps like TikTok and Likee and offering them work. “The pimps would ask the women for their portfolios and share them with men willing to pay for sex,” said a senior officer.
The police said Jodhpur resident Jayesh Bohra, the alleged kingpin of the racket, is absconding. “He would instruct customers to book rooms in hotels,” the officer added. When the police sent in a decoy customer, Bohra allegedly told him to book a room at the apartment complex.
Following this, Udaipur resident Yogesh Gehlot and Nallasopara resident Surajkumar Mandal were arrested from the complex premises. While Mandal had driven the three women to the complex, Gehlot collects money from customers, the police said.
“It is only after reaching a hotel that the women would discover that they had been lured into sex work,” said the officer, adding that customers quoted prices between Rs 30,000 and Rs 40,000 for Indian women and between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 4 lakh for foreigners.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Enforcement) Shivdeep Lande said that Bohra maintains a fleet of 10 to 15 cars to drive unsuspecting women to hotels in Mumbai’s western suburbs. Besides Bohra, the police are on the lookout two other men.
In May 2012, the police had busted an alleged rave party attended by actors, fashion designers and cricketers at the then hotel. Subsequently, 42 people at the party had tested positive for consumption of cannabis and ecstasy, including two cricketers.
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