Bhayandar: Sex trade racketeers are taking to instant messaging applications like WhatsApp and other social networking sites to operate their nefarious activities. The Anti-Human Trafficking Wing of the Thane (rural) police, led by Assistant SP Atul Kulkarni and Assistant Police Inspector Sunil Shinde, busted a thriving flesh trade racket late on Saturday night. Investigations revealed that the middlemen used to communicate with their potential clients through WhatsApp application where it was more convenient to send photographs of girls they had to offer and strike deals, police said.
Two Mumbai-based middlemen were arrested and booked under Section 370 of the IPC and Sections 4, 5 of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (ITPA), 1956. Two young women were also rescued by the police team from the clutches of the racketeers. According to the police, they had specific information that women were being made available for prostitution by a gang of middlemen, following which the police team established contact and successfully struck a deal with them through a decoy customer. A trap was laid and the duo were arrested as they arrived with the women near a Hotel near the Sai Baba Nagar area of Mira Road.
The police suspect that the pimps lured women who worked with event management companies. While the accused were remanded to custody, the rescued women have been sent to the welfare home. Sleuths of the Mira Road police station are conducting further investigations into the case.