Mumbai-based film writer among 8 arrested for running prostitution racket in Hyderabad

The Cyberabad police Friday announced the arrest of eight people, including a Mumbai-based film writer, for allegedly operating a prostitution racket in the city. The accused have been absconding in at least four cases registered under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act in Cyberabad and were nabbed in a week-long operation, officers said. The arrested accused include a woman from Bangladesh who took to running a brothel after initially falling prey to the illegal trade.

Mumbai-based film writer among 8 arrested for running prostitution racket in Hyderabad© Provided by The Indian Express

During the probe, the police found out that Mumbai-based Mohit Satpal Garg, 28, who wrote stories for films, ran the network and has, since 2020, pushed approximately 300 to 400 victims from Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Kolkata into prostitution. Another accused, Jai Saha, 40, based in Mumbai, has been doing the same since 2018 and sent women to hotels in Hyderabad, the police said.

The other arrested accused are identified as Zanwar Vishal, 33, Mohammed Sohail Ahmed, 38, Mohammed Khaleel, 40, Muntha Srikanth, 29, Mehedi Das, 38, and Bangladeshi woman Mulla Nasrin, 26. The police seized 35 phones, five laptops, two tablet PCs, a swiping machine, two scanners, three bikes, a car and 25 PAN cards and debit cards from the arrested accused.

According to the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) of Cyberabad police, the accused lured women from different parts of the country. They posted advertisements on websites, contacted prospective and previous customers through their call centres, and facilitated flesh trade at different hotels in return for money. “The arrested people are accused in cases registered in Madhapur and Gachibowli police stations and have been absconding. Special teams travelled to Mumbai and arrested two of the accused,” a police statement said.

The police said the photos of victims were posted in WhatsApp groups for customers to choose from. They paid 40 per cent of the proceeds to the main organiser while the victim and the broker shared 30 per cent each. Several websites were used in the crime and the call centres were operated from Hyderabad, investigators said, adding that their main mode of communication was via WhatsApp.

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