PANAJI: Gone are the days when only men were said to be involved in running flesh trade. Now even women are at the forefront in the illegal trade which is evident from police raids.
Late Thursday night, Crime Branch police had busted an alleged prostitution racket that led to the arrest of 8 accused including two woman accomplice. Earlier this year in May, June and July, police during raids had also arrested three women accused (three separate cases, two in the city and one at Mapusa) in connection with flesh trade.
The reason according to police is higher income and most importantly, no one will doubt a woman of operating or to be associated with the flesh trade activity, thus keeping them out of police radar.
On Thursday, Crime Branch police had arrested 8 accused Meghna Nair (38) from East Mumbai, Sumona Das (25) from Kolkata-West Bengal, Gauresh Patekar (27) from Mandrem-Goa, Ramji Ranvir (23) from Nanded-Maharashtra, Chandrashekar Meher (28) from Orissa, Ayu Meher (29) from Orissa, Daksh Bansode (24) Nanded-Maharashtra and the customer Uttam Behra (27) also from Orissa. All the accused have been remanded to seven days police custody.
During the raid, police had rescued 8 victims aged between 21 to 29 years. Three are from Kolkata-West Bengal and one each from Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Bangalore, Haryana and Assam.
According to police, accused Meghna was handling the guest house in Calangute which had four AC rooms while Sumona used to bring customers as well as girls (victim) at the guest house. The guest house has been sealed by the police following the raid.
Ramji and Daksh are said to be transporters while the others Gauresh, Chandrashekar and Ayu are said to be pimps, police has said.
Incidentally, Chandrashekar was arrested in May this year by the Panaji police in connection with flesh trade. According to police, the girls were rescued from guest house as well as other places in Calangute where the pimps had come to deliver the girls to the decoy customers. The price quoted by the pimps per girl was Rs 5,000 and above, police said.
Police claimed that the guest house was used as a brothel and suspect that a number of guest houses along the coastal belt are being used for such activities. As such the guest houses will be now under the police radar, said a police officer.
According to police, the racket was busted following a tip-off that certain groups of pimps are active in Calangute region. Subsequently based on some details as well as contact numbers available from the escort websites, a deal was made with the pimps separately and the raids were conducted. According to police, investigation is on to find out and arrest the main accused persons involved in the racket.