The city police busted an organised prostitution racket being run in the guise of “escort services” and arrested three persons.

Giving details at a press conference on Sunday, Police Commissioner J. Purnachandra Rao said the master gang operated from Delhi and had its branches in various cities including Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam. The escort services were advertised on the net as Visakhapatnam Escort Agency and Kalki Escorts.

The calls were received at the call centre at Bangalore which directed them to those operating in Visakhapatnam. After picking up the callers from crowded areas like Ramakrishna Beach, the services in Visakhapatnam were offered at hotels or at three rented apartments- two at Kirlampudi and one at Maharanipet- charging from Rs.10,000 to Rs.30,000 an hour. The prostitution organised by them had been going on for seven-eight months before police zeroed in on them. Investigation was taken up after getting some information in another case in which the involvement of two women was being probed.

Mr. Purnachandra Rao said the police arrested Baldev Singh, 25, of Govindpuri Khali in Khazi district of Punjab and Avinash Lal, 30, of Madangoli in New Delhi and Manju Kanchan, alias Priya Joshi, 28, wife of Somu Kanchan, of Malad West, Maharashtra. CC TV footage recorded at a star hotel as security measure also showed Priya Joshi entering and leaving the hotel.

A Toyota car, three cell phones, 19 SIM cards, PAN cards, ATM cards and bank pay-in slips were seized. Transactions were of a high value. A city police team comprising Three-Town Inspector Krishna Varma and Two-Town SI Ramachandra Rao is in Mumbai carrying out further investigation. He advised flat-owners and residents' associations to be wary when renting out apartments. Any information on such activities may be passed on to 9440904336 by calling or SMS. ACPs of East and Special Branch Krishna Murthy Naidu and Adinarayana were present.

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