A Social Service (SS) branch team headed by ACP Vasant Dhoble last evening busted a flesh trade syndicate and rescued 37 Mumbai-based bar girls who were about to board a flight to Dubai from Delhi.
The women were set to take an Air India flight at 8.25 pm from Indira Gandhi International Airport. "Thirty seven girls have been detained. We are hunting for their mediator. Investigations are still on," Dhoble confirmed.
"Usually these girls leave the country posing as dancers and once they reach the destination, they are forced into prostitution," an officer from SS branch said on condition of anonymity.
Police sources revealed that Mumbai bar girls are in huge demand in Arab countries during Ramzan. Since it also a major source of income for the women, they readily leave the country in large numbers.Greener pastures?
Dance bar agents from the Gulf have formed a nexus with some airport officials, who clear visas without checking their authenticity, cops said. "Many agents fail to provide documents mandatory for travel to Gulf countries, and yet secure clearances," an official said, adding that 10-12 women get authorisation every day.
Mumbai is no longer a popular transit point for trafficking bar girls due to 'harassment' by immigration officials. It's easier to send them via New Delhi, Chennai and sometimes Hyderabad.
In August 2005, the Maharashtra government implemented a ban on dance bars with the passing of the Police (Amendment) Bill, 2005. While the government succeeded in shutting down dance bars, it failed to rehabilitate the women who earned their livelihood here.
"Following the government's failure, these women are now flown out of the country where they are exploited more," a Crime Branch source revealed.