Woman pimped 14-year-old to recover 'stolen booty'

SoBo woman suspected that her 14-year-old neighbour had stolen the booty from her house; she forced her into prostitution to recover her money

Putting an end to the predatory tendencies of a 22-year-old woman in Byculla, cops arrested her for thrusting a 14-year-old girl -- who lived next door to her -- into prostitution. The accused allegedly wanted to square accounts over Rs 15,000, which she thought the minor had stolen from her, police officials said.

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On Thursday, Mumtaz Begam Mohammad Mulla (22), a resident of Central Railway Colony, Gunpowder Road in Mazgaon was arrested for forcing her vulnerable and young neighbour to commit sexual acts against her wishes.

Police said that Mumtaz suspected that the victim, Sheena (name changed), had stolen cash and jewellery worth Rs 15,000 from her house a few months back. She had since been thirsting for reprisal. So one day, she spiked Sheena's drink and allegedly facilitated her rape.

The sexual abuse continued for about four months, until one day, when Sheena had not returned home for 48 hours, her mother lodged a complaint with the police. Subsequently, Sheena was found, her tale of sexual exploitation revealed, and the accused nabbed.

The pretext
According to the police, Sheena used to stay right next to Mumtaz's flat until June, when the latter was robbed of valuables and cash worth Rs 15,000. Said a police officer from Byculla police station, "Mumtaz did not lodge any complaint but she suspected the 14-year-old and her mother of having stolen her ornaments and money.

After the incident, she used to bicker with them constantly, accusing them of the theft. Weary of her accusations and arguments, the victim and her mother shifted to another house in Antop Hill."  Every once in a while, Sheena used to visit her old house to see her friends. On one such visit in July, Mumtaz invited her over to her house. "She spiked a cold drink and gave it to the 14-year-old. When the minor fell unconscious, Mumtaz asked one of her friends to have sexual intercourse with her," said the officer.

For Sheena, the sexual abuse had just begun. To keep the minor firmly under her thumb, Mumtaz threatened to tarnish her image, even kill her, and over the next four months, forced her to sexually gratify her clients on various occasions. "She called customers and asked them to have intercourse with the minor," officials said.

Confident that she had already threatened her into silence and compliance, on October 18, Mumtaz sent Sheena to Ooty with a client. When Sheena did not return for two days, her mother got worried. "After waiting for her for two days, the victim's mother lodged a missing complaint with the Antop Hill police station," said Inspector Sunil Patil of Byculla police station.

The arrest
Following investigations, the Antop Hill police traced the victim to Nariman Point, where she had been kept after returning from Ooty. When she narrated her story, cops nabbed Mumtaz, and handed the duo over to the Byculla police. While Mumtaz has been booked under Sections 366 (a) (kidnapping for illicit intercourse) and 376 (rape), the minor has been sent to the Dongri children's home, as she is traumatised.

"We have arrested Mumtaz and have her in custody till November 4. We are now searching for the accused who had intercourse with the victim," said Patil. "We are also investigating how Mumtaz has an apartment in the Central Railway Colony, as nobody related to her works with the railways."

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