Secret brothel in lodge that cops almost failed to expose

Secret brothel in lodge that cops almost failed to expose

Owner ran the racket in mezzanine between 1st and 2nd floors

Secret brothel in lodge that cops almost failed to expose

It took the Central Crime Branch (CCB) seven attempts to expose a highly organised and ingenious  prostitution racket being run in a lodge in a busy locality just 300 metres from their headquarters in Chamarajpet, central Bengaluru.

The CCB sleuths had credible information that a prostitution racket was being run at Shiva Palace Deluxe Lodge in NT Pete near Chamarajpet. They made six failed attempts to expose the racket. The lodge owner used an ingenious method to hoodwink them.

The policemen had searched every nook and corner of the lodge to find the brothel. They did the same on Saturday afternoon but could not trace it. Just as they were leaving, an informant gave them another tip-off: the brothel was located in a mezzanine that was created with a false flooring between first and second floors.

Buoyed by the information, they searched the lodge all over again. This time, they weren’t disappointed. They found the mezzanine and several secret passages that led to it. When they stepped into the mezzanine, they found five women and four customers.

The mezzanine was created with a false flooring and no one could make it out. Tiny passages, camouflaged with some materials, led to it. From the mezzanine, a person could easily go down to the ground floor and escape through backdoor exits. Only regular visitors were let into the mezzanine.

The lodge owner ran a grocery store on the ground floor and got a wireless alarm bell installed. Whenever he found something suspicious, he rang the alarm bell, giving enough time to those in the lodge and the women to escape through the backdoor exits.

“He managed to hoodwink us for long. We made several attempts but failed to find anything suspicious in the lodge,” a senior police officer said. “It was a highly organised prostitution racket and they made sure no one got a hint about what was going on inside.”

Since the lodge is located in a busy area, local residents didn’t have even the faintest idea that something so sinister was going on there, he added. The racketeers had lured poor girls from different places by promising them jobs in Bengaluru. They later confined them to the lodge and forced them into prostitution by telling them they could make far more money this way.

The police arrested six men, including two pimps, and rescued five women, four of them from Kolkata and one from Mysuru. Manjunath, 29, from Uttara Kannada, and Mahesh, 21, from Mandya, were pimps, while B Raghu, 30, from Sadehalli, Dharmendra Kumar, 27, from Tumakuru, Ashraf, 37, from Goripalya, and Chand, 24, from Kalasipalya, were the customers.