The Crime Branch of Pune City Police has arrested a ‘racketeer’ who was allegedly involved in a prostitution racket that had international links. Police have identified the suspect as Iqbalsingh Mahindrapal alias Toni, a resident of Mira Road in Thane and a native of Punjab.
Mahindrapal was wanted in connection with a prostitution racket that was busted at a five-star hotel on the Pune-Ahmednagar Road by the Social Security Cell of the Crime Branch during a raid in September last year. Police had rescued three women from the spot, including two foreign nationals — one from Russia and another from Uzbekistan — while the third woman was from Delhi.
An offence in this case was lodged at the Yerwada police station under sections 370 and 370a of the IPC and sections of the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act. Later, police invoked the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act in the case.
Assistant Commissioner of Police, crime, Bhanupratap Barge said the investigation had revealed that a suspect, called ‘Tony’, was the one who got the women from Russia and Uzbekistan to Pune for prostitution.
“A search was on for Tony for the last 20 days. Teams led by Senior Police Inspector Manisha Zende and Sub-inspector Anant Vyavhare were sent to trace him. On Friday, we managed to arrest Tony from Mira Road area in Thane. He was brought to Pune and produced before the court today. The court remanded him to police custody for seven days,” said Barge.