The Mumbai Crime Branch foiled a major casting couch racket at a five-star hotel in Juhu and rescued eight women on Wednesday. Three people, including two women, were arrested after the police team raided the hotel’s premises.
Preliminary investigation showed that many of the rescued women have worked in several advertisements and were also part of movies and web series.
Based on a tip-off, API Sachin Vaze from the Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) along with a team from the Mumbai Police’s Social Services Branch laid an elaborate trap at the Juhu hotel where the alleged mastermind – a person who called himself ‘Prem’ and claimed to be a casting director and a film producer was nabbed. Two of his female accomplices were also taken into custody.
“He used to induce struggling models and actresses to get into prostitution promising them big roles in the film industry,” a senior police officer, who was part of the probe team, told CNN-NEWS18.
According to the police, the accused contacted his clients via multiple websites. To nab the accused red-handed, an initial amount of Rs 2 lakh was deposited in his bank account.
The accused have been booked under provisions of the Prevention of Immoral Traffic Act along with sections 120B, 370, 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Cash worth over Rs 5.5 lakh, 15 smartphones and a luxury car have been seized from them.