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Thai woman nabbed, 3 girls rescued as Thane cops bust international prostitution racket

Thane (Maharashtra), June 26, 2024
The Thane police have busted an international prostitution racket being operated across the state from Mumbai and nabbed a Thai woman pimp and a Yemeni man, police said on Wednesday.

The racket was being operated from a house in Mumbai’s posh Juhu Koliwada area and three girls from Thailand, who were pushed into the flesh trade after reportedly gaining illegal entry into the country, were rescued and sent to a woman’s shelter.

Following a tip-off by social worker Binu Varghese, the Thane police’s Crime Branch launched a covert probe on the purported shady goings-on involving foreign nationals, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, Shivraj Patil said.

Anti-Human Trafficking Cell Police Inspector Chetna Choudhary investigated the matter before informing the higher-ups and police teams, including Senior Police Inspector Maloji Shinde of the Anti-Extortion Cell, cracked down on multiple locations including Mumbai and Thane.

Acting on Varghese’s information, police sent a decoy customer to Vits Sharanam Hotel in Thane on June 21 evening, and he signalled the police party which swooped on the place and nabbed woman pimp, Salika Udom Wabanglab, 44, hailing from Thailand’s Sakon Nakhon province.

Her interrogation led to the rescue of three Thai girls who were forced into the prostitution racket and kept confined at a hideout nearby.

Questioning of the accused led the police to Yemeni national, B. Abdullah, at his lair in the Undri area of Pune, said DCP Patil.

Abdullah had arrived in India a few months ago but after his visa expired, managed to get all the necessary documents to prove he was an Indian national, while the passport and visa details of Wabanglab were being verified.

The probe revealed that the accused had come to India on short-term tourist visas, but during that period, they somehow managed to get bogus documents like passports, PAN cards, Aadhaar cards, and driving licences, opened an account with a leading private bank, and were using various UPI applications like GPay or PhonePe and others.

The accused have revealed that they used to lure customers in Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Lonavala, Goa and other places, via social media, and the girls were sent to entertain the clients at heavy rates.

While Abdullah has been sent to police custody till July 1, the police are now tracking the tentacles of the flesh trade racket, as to whether more girls from Thailand or any other country have been trapped and are seeking to trace other associates of the accused who helped them to procure bogus Indian documents.(Agency)

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