Mumbai

Crime Branch busts two flesh trade rackets in a single day

In the net: Rajeshkumar Lal supplied Uzbek girls to his clients while Sanjay Das (below) forced girls from West Bengal and Bangladesh into prostitution.

In the net: Rajeshkumar Lal supplied Uzbek girls to his clients while Sanjay Das (below) forced girls from West Bengal and Bangladesh into prostitution.  

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Bollywood production manager held in Juhu; 35-year-old arrested in Dahisar

The Mumbai Police Crime Branch busted two prostitution rackets in the city in a single day by arresting a Bollywood production manager at a four-star hotel in Juhu and a 35-year-old man, who forced girls from West Bengal and Bangladesh into the flesh trade, in Dahisar.

Acting on a tip-off, the Social Service Branch (SSB) raided Zed Luxury Residency Hotel on Friday and arrested Rajeshkumar Lal, who worked as a production manager in the film industry. Two Uzbek nationals were rescued in the operation, a Crime Branch official said.

The official said the accused, along with with an Uzbek woman, allegedly provided girls from Uzbekistan to his clients. The SSB made contact with Mr. Lal using a decoy customer and a ‘deal’ was finalised at ₹80,000. In exchange for the money, Mr. Lal agreed to send an Uzbek girl to the hotel in Juhu.

An SSB officer said, “Mr. Lal was taken into custody as soon as he showed up at the hotel. We then rescued the two Uzbek girls after putting him through initial questioning. Prima facie, we have learned that he is in touch with an Uzbek national named Zarina, who was staying in Mumbai earlier. According to our inquiries, Zarina supplied the girls, while Mr. Lal made deals with the clients.”

The officer said the operation might lead the Crime Branch to other film industry professionals. Scores of Uzbek girls work in the industry as dancers or extras and there is a chance that Mr. Lal might not have been running the racket all by himself.

The officer said, “Based on preliminary inquiries, we have learned that Mr. Lal had been active for at least the past seven or eight years. The two women we rescued were in India on tourist visas. It gives rise to the possibility that many more girls might be regularly visiting and leaving the country as part of the racket.”

Mr. Lal was handed over to the Juhu police, who arrested him and charged him under the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act. SSB officers said three girls had been rescued in another raid at the same hotel last month.

Meanwhile, the Crime Branch Unit XII on Friday busted a flesh trade racket in Dahisar, where girls from West Bengal and Bangladesh were allegedly forced into prostitution. Crime Branch officers said the racket was being run out of Giri Niwas chawl. An officer said, “We found three girls in the house. Two of them hailed from West Bengal, while the third was a Bangladeshi national with a valid visa.”

The Unit XII arrested Sanjay Das for allegedly running the racket and handed him over to the Dahisar police for further investigation.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 3:51:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/crime-branch-busts-two-flesh-trade-rackets-in-a-single-day/article30481958.ece

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