The arrest of a globe-trotting woman accused of running a sex racket has raised more questions than answers. Did Lissy Sojan plan her surrender or was she arrested?
Accused of trafficking women to the Gulf for prostitution, Lissy alias Leena Basheer, according to the police, was arrested in Kochi on Thursday while contemplating surrender.
The Superintendent of Police, Alex K. John said that Lissy was arrested from Aluva bus stand while she was about to board a bus to meet her lawyer to discuss her surrender. “We had information a few days before the arrest that she had arrived in Kerala. We received a tip-off that she would arrive at the bus stand and that was when we made the arrest,” said another police officer.
But those who have been tracking Lissy’s movements, passing on information to the police, claim that she flew down to Kozhikode this time with the intention of “settling the case.” They insist that her surrender was an attempt to escape the CBI dragnet as there was a possibility of a CBI probe into the Nedumbassery human trafficking case.
The police officers arraigned in the Nedumbassery case, A.P. Ajeeb and Raju Mathew, had allegedly helped Lissy smuggle out women using forged passports.
Lissy is an accused in seven cases in the State, three of them for trafficking women and three for passport fraud. Police said that she had arrived in Kerala with forged documents this time too. Lissy, also known as Aswathy, had been under pressure after a brothel run by her in Ajman was raided by the local police in July 2012. Sethulal, believed to be an associate of Lissy’s, had surrendered to the police here last October. Meanwhile, the police said that Suresh, a native of Valappad in Thrissur, runs the racket. This finding is based on the statement given by Lissy Sojan. Suresh, said a police officer, was running several prostitution rackets in Gulf countries and Lissy was operating only one of his units. “Suresh handled the forgery of passports and other documents. He financed the cost of transporting women from Kerala to Dubai or Muscat,” he said. The officer said Lissy had told them that Suresh had about 20 prostitution rings in the Gulf.