Ajay Govind Rathod

The anti-human trafficking cell of the Thane crime branch recently busted a prostitution racket, arrested a pimp and rescued four women.

The cell had received a tip-off that Ajay Govind Rathod alias Ambarish (31), a waiter at a bar, was operating a prostitution racket in Thane. “Accordingly, we laid a trap and approached Rathod as a fake customer. After the deal was finalised, Rathod and four women arrived at the meeting spot in Thane on the night of March 8,” said Ravindra Daunkar, senior police inspector, anti-human trafficking cell.

Once money exchanged hands -- Rathod was paid Rs 3,000 for each woman -- the pimp was arrested. “We recovered Rs 64,600 in cash, five cellphones, a scooter and a few documents,” said Kalyani Patil, sub-inspector, anti-human trafficking cell.

A case was registered at Chitalsar Manpada police station under section 370(2)(3) (trafficking of one or more persons) of the IPC and different sections of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956.

During interrogation, the five revealed they had worked together at a bar at Thane and were rendered unemployed after a demolition drive against illegal bars by the Thane Municipal Corporation. Allegedly pushed to the brink, they decided to run a prostitution racket. From the Rs 3,000 that Rathod made for each deal, he gave a cut of Rs 1,000 to the women, said a police officer.