"The hotel was a pickup point for customers and victims.”
An online high profile prostitution racket at a Colaba hotel was busted on Saturday 21, December 2019 by the Social Services Branch (SSB) of the Mumbai Police.
The SSB raided the prostitution ring that was operating under the disguise of a female escort service.
During the crackdown, two aspiring models and a minor girl were rescued, while three men were arrested.
The SSB acting on an anonymous tip-off conducted a raid on Hotel Blue Light, above Metro House near Colaba causeway.
Police Inspector of Colaba Police, Vijaysingh Bagal stated the manager of the hotel, a waiter and customer was remanded in custody. Bagal said:
“Two of them are in their 40s while one is a 28-year-old. The minor girl was sent to the Dongri remand home, while the two other victims were sent to a remand home in Deonar.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Shivdeep Lande revealed that the owner of the escort service is still unknown.
However, the investigation has helped narrow down the search to a particular province. Lande said:
“A hunt is on for the kingpin of the ring, a woman who lives in Jaipur.”
The multi-state prostitution racket was operated through WhatsApp messenger by the Jaipur-based owner.
The leader monitored the service through numerous groups where she was provided with information by cross-city informants regarding potential victims. Lande explained:
“They would circulate the profile of victims within the members of the (WhatsApp) group who are actually potential customers.
“The group would entrap gullible victims with the lure of money.”
Due to the supposed escort service being operated via WhatsApp, it avoided attention for several months.
According to the Mumbai Mirror, the Hotel Blue Light was reportedly used as a meeting point for confirming deals between the customers and victims. Lande stated:
“Through these groups, the customers contacted the hotel manager owner who earned commission for striking deals. The hotel was a pickup point for customers and victims.”
The SSB seized Rs 11,660 (£125.90) in cash, condom packets, six mobile phones and memory cards used by the group.
The three offenders have been sentenced under numerous sections of the Indian Penal Code, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Acts and Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act.
Previously, on Friday 20, December 2019, the SSB rescued nine women from a prostitution ring at a well-known spa in a luxurious residential tower in Prabhadevi.
The owner, Salim Shaikh was arrested and sent to Dadar Police Station. The woman who was managing the illegal activity was detained under the Code of Criminal Procedure.