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India: Bar dancers in big sex racket

Publish Date: 23 Dec 2011
Source: The Asian Age
By: Gautam S. Mengle, Mumbai

Investigations into the international prostitution racket that was busted at the international airport on Wednesday has uncovered a highly-organised modus operandi, where girls are screened and auditioned in studios before being sent abroad to cater to filthy-rich clients. The racket caters to clients based out of Singapore, Malaysia and the Middle East.

“Most of the girls are former bar dancers. They are carefully screened before being selected and even have to give an audition in a studio, where they are photographed. Most of these studios are located in Andheri. Selection is based on the results of this audition,” Vasant Dhobale, assistant commissioner of police, social service branch, said.

According to an official, pimps provide girls from several major cities in India. Apart from Mumbai, the racket also has modules in Uttar Pradesh, Kolkata, Rajasthan and New Delhi.

“Girls are sent in batches of six to 10 every 10 days from these cities. They are provided either tourist visas or work permits, which claim that they are going abroad as ‘dance artistes’. Each girl is given `1.5 to 2.5 lakh, while being sent abroad. Around 40 per cent of whatever she earns while ‘entertaining’ clients, is taken by the pimps after she returns,” said Mr Dhobale. Nearly 5,000 girls are sent abroad from India every month, and the profits of the rackets run into several hundred crores of rupees, the police said.

During the flash raid on Wednesday, 10 passports were seized; a scrutiny of these has revealed that the girls had been sent to Abu Dhabi, Malaysia and Singapore in the past. Meanwhile, a local court has remanded Sharif Sheikh arrested in Wednesday’s raid, to police custody till Tuesday.

Copyright © 2011 The Asian Age