Chennai: A Tamil actress who allegedly resorted to prostitution to tide over a financial crisis was arrested along with her stepbrother on Saturday night. The police suspect that it was her stepfather who worked as her pimp. The stepfather was said to be absconding.
Caroline Mariyath, a 22-year-old Tamil film actress and popular model from Chennai, was arrested from a five-star hotel by the Social Security Cell of the Crime Branch.
Mariyath, a resident of Saidapet in Chennai, has been a model in many advertisements of diamond and textile companies. The police said she took to prostitution because of a delay in the release of three of her films. Her stepfather, Ranjeeth Mariyath Asan, who is a model photographer, allegedly helped her get clients along with her stepbrother M Rajkumar, who worked as her manager.
Rajkumar was arrested for forcing Mariyath into prostitution. The police slapped several sections of the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA), 1986, on the two. In November, the city police had arrested a silver screen actress, Azhara Jan Gulam Ahmed Sheikh alias Zara (21), a native of Kashmir, along with a spot boy for running a sex racket. The arrest had been made in a raid conducted on a five-star hotel that fell in the jurisdiction of the Bundgarden police station.
Later, the police had arrested one Padmaja Bapat for the same offence. On Saturday, acting on a tip-off received by Constable Ashok Takalkar, a Social Security Cell team led by Inspector Bhanupratap Barge laid a trap using a decoy and caught Mariyath and Rajkumar at a five-star hotel in Viman Nagar around 8.30 pm.
The police said they suspected Mariyath's stepbrother Rajkumar worked as her agent. They said Rajkumar had come to the city in a rented car and checked into a room, following which the two were arrested.
The police said the actress charged Rs 3 lakh per hour from customers. They said she had visited the city twice before for the same purpose. Mariyath told the police she had acted in Tamil films Rain and Wadachalam. The police said her absconding stepfather ran a studio in Mumbai.