Mumbai: 19-year-old escapes from brothel, helps cops bust sex racket

Two pimps and two madams, posing as couples, provided vulnerable women with a place to stay and then forced them into the flesh trade

Just days after saving a teenaged girl from a pimp, the police have claimed another success in their fight against flesh trade. On Monday, a 19-year-old girl complained to the police that she was being forced into prostitution in Malwani. The police raided the flat and arrested two pimps and two madams, who had been blackmailing women into prostitution.

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The police raided the flat and arrested two pimps and two madams, who had been blackmailing women into prostitution. Representation pic
The police raided the flat and arrested two pimps and two madams, who had been blackmailing women into prostitution. Representation pic

The accused have been identified as Prashant aka Mohit (25), Mahesh Yadav (24), Bhavna (22) and Afreen Sheikh (19).

Their targets were girls and women who were in financial or emotional trouble. The accused would pose as two married couples and befriend these women. After winning their trust they would offer them a place to stay at their flat in Malwani. Those who fell for the bluff would take them up on their offer.

Modus operandi
After sometime, the accused would blame the girl of stealing things from the house and threaten to report her to the police. When the woman pleaded with them, they would ask her to undress and videotape her. These tapes were then used to blackmail the victims into prostitution.

Their business went downhill when one girl escaped their brothel and approached the cops.

A 19-year-old employee with an event management company befriended Prashant in early January 2016 and told him she was in financial trouble. Prashant offered her to come live with him, his wife and another couple. She agreed and moved from her Andheri residence into their flat in Malwani. After a few days she became suspicious and left the house without saying much.

Read Story: Police bust sex racket in Thane, two pimps arrested

The accused traced her and kidnapped her on January 30. After blaming her of stealing valuables from the house, the couple shot videos of her in the buff and blackmailed her into sleeping with a client. On Monday, when a client was forcing himself on her in the flat, she began screaming, which forced them to open the door. She used this opportunity to escape the place, approach the police and file a complaint.

The police then raided the flat in Mhada’s Police Federation Colony and arrested the accused.

Police say
According to the police sources, this gang has targeted several girls and married women. The sources added that the victims never complained as the accused had threatened them of putting up their videos on the Internet. Milind Khetle, senior police inspector at Malvani police station, said acting upon the complaint filed by the girl, we arrested two women and two men on Monday. “We have registered the complaint and believe that it’s a big racket and more people are involved. We are looking for the other accused,” he said.

They have been booked under Sections 363 (Punishment for kidnapping), 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 342 (Punishment for wrongful confinement), 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 324 (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation), 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

They were produced in court on Tuesday morning and remanded to police custody till February 6.

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