Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Prostitution case lands 23 in MCOCA case in Pune


PUNE: The city police booked 23 people under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), 1999 for their part in running a prostitution racket in a five-star hotel in Yerawada area, according to Pankaj Dahane, deputy commissioner of police, crime, Pune. The order to book them under MCOCA were issued three months after the case in the matter was filed, according to the police.

While eight of the 23 are already in jail, the other 15 are at large, according to the police. The eight people were identified as Pratap Antaryami Sahu, 26; Lipun Antaryati Sahu, 23; Amarendra Ishwarchandra Sahu, 28; Ajay Lokbahadur Giri, 25; Biku Tankbahaddur Chhetri, 26; Shanti Lakshman Giri, 25; Ramesh Rudrabahaddur Giri, 30 and Baburam Bhimbahaddur Giri, 19, according to the police.

On September 18, the social security cell of the Pune police crime branch had raided the said hotel and rescued three women including a Russian national, an Uzbek national and an Indian national hailing from Delhi. Five men were arrested and booked under Sections 3, 4, 5 of Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act, 1956 and Section 370 and 370(a) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at the Yerawada police station. Sections 3(1)(ii), 3(2) and 3(4) of MCOCA were invoked in the case which make the accused liable to  prison time between five years to life imprisonment along with Rs. 5 lakh fine upon conviction. The case will be investigated further by Sanjay Nikam, assistant commissioner of police, crime-2.

“We followed the money trail in the case and nabbed the kingpins in the business who have been active for some time now. This is the second case of prostitution in which MCOCA was invoked. This is also the 18th case  of MCOCA in Pune this year,” DCP Dahane said.

The first gang involved in flesh trade to be booked under the stringent law was the one led by Kalyani Deshpande. Deshpande, who was arrested in December 2016, was operational in the city for over two decades, had managed to wring out of MCOCA charges once in 2013.

On December 8, a call centre for prostitution was busted during interrogation of the arrested men and the number of the accused was increased from five to 23, according to the police. One person named in the Yerawada case was also named in the call centre case, DCP Dahane said. The police are now on the lookout for the 15 others named in the case.


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