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Dwarka couple held for flesh trade racket

A retired colonel’s son and his wife have been arrested for allegedly forcing women from Central Asia into prostitution, reports HT Correspondent.

delhi Updated: Jan 29, 2009 14:09 IST

A retired colonel’s son and his wife have been arrested for allegedly forcing women from Central Asia into prostitution.

The accused, Rajnish Sharma (31), had married an Uzbek. The couple lured women from Central Asia promising jobs and once they arrived, they would allegedly take away their passports and force them into prostitution.

The flesh trade racket was unearthed when a 31-year-old woman from Turkmenistan complained at the Defence Colony police station on December 17 last year that the couple had forcibly taken away her passport and documents.

She said they forced her into prostitution and threatened her with dire consequences if she went to the police.

Based on her information, the police raided a house in Dwarka and arrested Sharma’s wife Umidda Devanova (37). During her interrogation, Devanova told police that she married Sharma two years ago and helped him run the prostitution racket.

The husband-wife duo allegedly used to earn Rs 2 lakh from these women per month. Another gang member Laila, who was earlier arrested in Manali and was out on bail, is absconding.

“The couple used to call women from Central Asia on the pretext of starting a business in fashion, garment design and modelling. Once they came to India, their passports were taken away. Since they don’t understand the local language, the helpless women were forced into prostitution,” said HGS Dhaliwal, DCP (south).

Police said Sharma, who was arrested on January 16, owned a fleet of taxis used to escort these women to five-star hotels. “He said he married Umidda so that she could procure girls from abroad. They paid Rs 1 lakh for these women who came on a tourist visa,” said Dhaliwal.

Sharma told the police that he also got his cousin married to Devanova’s sister Ilmira to get her settled in India.

He also told the police at least three more such modules were active in the NCR. Each gang has about 8 to 10 girls.

First Published: Jan 29, 2009 14:09 IST