Birthday party turns out to be cover for flesh trade racket

Jun 06, 2012, 06:18 IST | Shiva Devnath

Cops raid restaurant in Oshiwara after receiving tip-off that girls attending a party were prostitutes; arrest organiser, his associate, restaurant owner and manager; 11 girls rescued

It turned out to be a birthday party that was strictly adult-rated. The Social Service branch (SS) of Mumbai police uncovered an elaborate prostitution racket being run under the garb of birthday parties, and arrested four people and rescued 11 girls from a restaurant in Oshiwara during a raid on Monday night. After receiving a tip-off that illegal activities were going on at Masala Curry restaurant, Oshiwara, SS officers sent a decoy customer to verify the information. Convinced that laws were being broken, the police raided the place.

Red herring
Mohan Tolani, organiser of the party, and his associate Tina alias Anita Chabra were arrested under the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA), while Naved Baiji, owner of the restaurant, and Chakradhar Jhalandhar, manager of the establishment, were arrested for not having necessary permissions. “We have arrested the four accused under sections 3, 4, 5 of PITA and 65 and 66 of Mumbai Police Act,” said Dilip Rupawate, senior police inspector from Oshiwara. “The restaurant did not have licence to serve alcohol and no permission to play music. Hence we have also booked the owner and manager of the restaurant,” added Rupawate.

Party pooper: Girls rescued from the alleged birthday party were taken by the police to the Mazgaon Court after which they were sent to the rescue home in Chembur

According to Oshiwara police, the event was supposedly a birthday party, but organiser Tolani, in connivance with the restaurant owner, was running an elaborate prostitution racket. Tolani would send messages via his BlackBerry Messenger, telling his female friends, “If you want to make extra money, come to my party…”

Pimping the party
After that he would invite male customers, telling them that he was throwing a birthday bash. Most of the parties were attributed to fictitious names. He would charge male guests Rs 3,000 to enter the venue, while girls were let in free. According to cops, in order to earn extra money and lead a lavish life, many women would fall prey to the invitation. Several of these girls are allegedly college students, models and actresses. Some of them are reportedly homemakers from affluent families. The male guests were also well-off.

Oshiwara police stated that at the start of a party, all the guests would be introduced to each other. After drinks were served, the men would decide which girls they wanted to be paired with. After negotiating a deal, which would also involve some bargaining, the guests would leave the party, as couples, for their respective places. Police said they had got information that a birthday party had been organised in which prostitutes were being supplied. “Our informer went inside and through him we came to know that the girls were indulging in prostitution. Based on that, we raided the restaurant,” said assistant commissioner of police Vasant Dhoble of Social Service Branch.

“The negotiations between the girls and the customers were clandestinely done at the event, and then they would go to their designated places,” added Dhoble. All the rescued women and the arrested accused were produced at the Mazgaon court, after which the eleven girls were sent to the rescue home in Chembur, while the four accused have been remanded to police custody till June 11. 

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