Mumbai

Casting director among two held for running flesh trade racket

Two girls from Turkmenistan rescued from hotel in Andheri

In the fourth such operation this month, the Anti Human Trafficking Cell (AHTC) of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch busted a flesh trade racket being run out of a hotel in Andheri by two film industry professionals.

Crime Branch officers said the AHTC received information that Naved Akhtar (23), a production manager, and Naveed Sayyed (22), a casting director, were providing Indian and foreign women at ₹40,000. AHTC officers contacted the accused using a dummy customer and fixed a meeting at Imperial Palace Hotel in Andheri for Monday night.

An officer said, “The accused reached the spot with three girls and they were taken into custody. Of the three, two are from Turkmenistan and are in India on student visas as they are pursuing a course from an institute in Pune. They met the accused while working as extras on a film set last year.”

The officer said the accused told the two girls that they would have to make “compromises” if they wanted to make it big in Bollywood. They were told that they would have to sleep with a client who would be interested in signing them up for an advertisement for leading brands.

“The Indian girl has told us that she was sent by a woman pimp who operates out of a flat in Versova, and that she also provides two other girls to clients. We are trying to locate and apprehend this woman,” the officer said.

Mr. Akhtar and Mr. Sayyed have been charged under the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act and the rescued girls have been sent to rehabilitation homes.

AHTC’s crackdown began on January 3 with the arrest of a casting director, Rajeshkumar Lal, from Zed Luxury Residency in Juhu. Two victims from Uzbekistan were rescued in the raid.

The second operation was conducted on January 14 at a Cafe Coffee Day outlet in Seven Bungalows, where Naveenkumar Arya, another casting director, was arrested. Two women, who worked as junior artistes and make-up artists, were rescued. On January 16, the AHTC arrested a woman pimp from Dragonfly Hotel in Andheri and rescued three victims. One of them was a minor who had played a small role in a Marathi teleserial. Another woman had worked in a popular Hindi serial.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 12:16:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/casting-director-among-two-held-for-running-flesh-trade-racket/article30619837.ece

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