The Naupada police have busted an alleged prostitution racket that was being operated in a rented apartment in Panchpakhadi, Thane (W), rescuing four young girls and arresting a woman who was allegedly trafficking them.
According to the Naupada police, the raid was conducted on the basis of a tip off received by them earlier this week. A team was tasked with verifying the information and after preliminary inquiries confirmed the tip off, the police set about laying a trap. The accused, a 44-year-old woman, was approached through a decoy customer and the accused allegedly called the decoy to a residential building in Panchpakhadi on Tuesday afternoon.
“The accused was already present in a rented flat in the building along with four women in the 30-40 years age group. Our team subsequently moved in and took all the five women into custody,” an officer with the Naupada police station said.
The officer added that after the accused was questioned and statements were recorded from the four victims, the accused was placed under arrest and charged under the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act. The victims were subsequently sent to a rehabilitation centre.
“According to inquiries so far, the accused has been involved in sex trafficking for several months and has trafficked at least five to seven more women other than the ones rescued in Tuesday’s raid. She has also revealed in her interrogation that she was operating a similar racket in Bhandup and had recently moved to Thane. We suspect her to be a part of a larger operation and are trying to find out the reason behind her shift from Mumbai to Thane,” the officer said.
Police inspector Avinash Sondkar, Naupada police station, confirmed the arrest, and added that inquiries were under way.