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Some foreign 'tourists' play the lead role

Vishnu Sukumaran, July 6, 2013, DHNS: 0:23 IST
Foreigners who come to the city with an intention to get into the illegal trade stay put even after their tourist visas have expired.
The recent arrest of an Uzbek woman for running a prostitution racket in south-east Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar has once again highlighted the involvement of foreigners in flesh trade.

Dilsukh was accused of forcing two other Uzbek woman into the trade. The victims came to India in January on tourist visas, and had met Disukh in Agra.

She asked the two women to meet her when they come to Delhi. “The woman came to the capital and stayed at a hotel in Paharganj. They were later pushed into the flesh trade by Dilsukh,” says a police officer.

She used to arrange clients and charge between Rs 4,000 and Rs 8,000.

It also came to light that Dilsukh has a criminal history, and was arrested in 2011.

“At that time she was working as a call girl. She escaped punishment then and started working as a pimp,” says the officer.

Special commissioner of police (law and order) Deepak Mishra agrees that foreigners are ‘settling down’ in some areas of south and south-east Delhi. “They come to India on tourist visas for a period ranging between three and six months, and many of them stay back even after their visas expire. But it will be wrong to say that all of them indulge in prostitution,” he says.

The senior officer insists that though police have zero tolerance for prostitution, they can only bust rackets on receiving complaints and tip-offs.

“If women roam around with men, we cannot do anything about it. In a city where thousands of men and women hang out in pairs, it is difficult to identify the lawbreakers,” Mishra adds.

Police say the agents of sex workers use advertisements promising massage and escort services to attract clients. They usually operate from small guesthouses.

Similar to the Lajpat Nagar racket, seven persons including three Uzbek women were arrested in October 2012 for running a prostitution racket in the posh Greater Kailash Part-2 area. The Uzbek women, aged between 21 and 25, were living in a rented house without valid travel documents.

They also used to charge for belly dancing, weekend parties and to travel as companions to destinations like Shimla, Jaipur and Goa.

Once arrested, the accused foreign nationals are prosecuted under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act and the Foreigners Act. Their country’s embassies are also informed about the arrest.

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