Mumbai: Flourishing Prostitution Racket in Guise of Dance Troupes?
Mumbai, Dec 24:After six girls, being sent to a foreign destination in the guise of a dance troupe, were found to be sent there for being a part of the sex racket there, they were rescued from the international airport here on Wednesday.
This incident has again brought to the fore the legitimacy of cultural troupes making foreign tours in the name of promoting country’s culture, and helping some of the members of these troupes to illegally immigrate to another country and become a part of an illegal sex racket there.
During this flash raid, ten passports were seized. The policemen found that these girls had earlier visited Abu Dhabi, Malaysia and Singapore. One of the arrested, Sharif Sheikh, was remanded to police custody by a local court till Tuesday next.
The above rescue act was made by the social service wing of Mumbai police. Reports said that the six girls the wing arrested on Wednesday are in fact, not trained dancers, but they were being taken outside the country for sex trade. These girls, the policemen have found out, are being screened and auditioned in studios, before being picked for being part of the flourishing international prostitution racket, which serves affluent clients mostly from Singapore, Malaysia and the Middle East.
The policemen had learnt that every month, about 5,000 girls from the country are being ferried out of the nation by rackets helping brothels functioning in foreign destinations. Many have expressed the suspicion that a number of young girls, who have regularly been mysteriously going missing from their homes in Udupi, Dakshin Kannada and Kerala, and whose whereabouts almost always go untraced, are being used by this racket.
These rackets are active in cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, New Delhi, Kolkata, Chandigarh, etc. Pimps located in these cities identify and source girls to this racket. In the name of troupes of dancers touring foreign countries, thousands of girls are being taken to foreign countries. These girls never return to country with the troupes, but stay there for some time. It is suspected that these rackets collect huge sums of money for helping these girls to be carried abroad.
Assistant police commissioner, Vasant Daombale, said that these troupes carry these girls on the basis of either the tourist visas or work permits, in which their profession is stated as dance artistes, which are valid for one or two months. He revealed that the girls, most of whom have experience of being bar dancers, are auditioned and photographed in studios in Andheri. They are then picked on the basis of these processes, for being transported to foreign locations. He suspects that this racket’s annual turnover is in thousands of crores of rupees. He said that the girls are being sent in batches of six to ten with a gap of ten days in between two batches, from different cities. He added that the girls are paid about one to two lac rupees before being ferried, after which they get 40 percent of their earnings out of entertaining rich clients. If the girls return later, they work under pimps in the country, he said.