December 14, 2015 1:45:24 am
Police have busted a loan racket in Vijayawada in which several women were allegedly forced into prostitution when they were unable to repay the loans they took at very high interest rates.
In several instances, the victims were intimidated and forced to give up their properties in lieu of the loan amount.
Police have arrested the kingpin, Y Ramachandra Murthy, a deputy engineer of AP Transmission Corporation, G Satyanand, and private financiers B Shankar, Venigalla Srikanth, Pendyala Srikanth and Dudala Rajesh.
They suspect that several government officials, relatives of elected representatives and some police personnel are involved in the racket. Police are also investigating the role of some local political leaders, especially of the ruling
Telugu Desam Party for backing the gang that was running the racket.
This is the third time that such a racket has been exposed in Andhra Pradesh where it is called as “call money” racket because the loans are given to women who are pushed into prostitution.
The racket was busted after a woman lodged a complaint stating that her daughter and son-in-law were abducted by a private financier who runs the Seven Sisters agency after they failed to repay a loan of Rs 3 lakh which they had taken at an interest rate of 30 per cent.
“This gang’s modus operandi is to give loans to innocent women at very high interest rates, and when they are unable to repay on time, they threaten them and coerce them into handing over their houses or lands in lieu of the loan. There are allegations that in some instances they forced the women into flesh trade to earn the money to repay the loans. All this is under investigation,” said Vijayawada Police Commissioner Gautam Sawang.
Sawang has appealed to the victims to come forward and lodge complaints in his office.
The cases have been registered under IPC sections 420 (cheating), 376 (rape), 354 a(1) (2) (sexual harassment), 384 (extortion), 501 (defamation), 120(B) (criminal conspiracy).
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