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Flesh trade racket busted; 3 held, 2 women rescued in Vadodara

The Special Operations Group (SOG) has been keeping a watch on flesh trade rackets operating through various websites as part of an ongoing drive.

The Special Operations Group (SOG) in Vadodara on Wednesday busted a flesh trade racket at a lodging hotel in the Sayajigunj area of the city, allegedly operating through an online escort service website, detained three accused and rescued two women from Maharashtra.

The SOG has been keeping a watch on flesh trade rackets operating through various websites as part of an ongoing drive. A release from the department said that the SOG chanced upon the involvement of a city-based hotel — New Relax Inn — located in Sayajigunj while searching Google for escort services operating in Vadodara city.

The SOG sleuths came across a specific website providing “escort services in Vadodara” that had listed a local WhatsApp number. Inspector Smitesh Solanki of SOG said, “The WhatsApp number belonged to the hotel. The accused also sent the name, photograph, and address of the hotel, where they had rooms 301, 302, 303, and 304 reserved to operate their racket.”

The arrested accused include Ramesh Dabhi (40) manager of the hotel, and two local customers — Pravin Gohil (23) and Devraj Kapdi (32), while Kachru Lalji Patel, another manager of the hotel, is a wanted accused. The police also rescued two women aged 30 and 25 years from the hotel, who were in the company of the two accused, police said.

Solanki said, “One of the two women claimed she had lost her husband and had two young children to raise, which is why she had chosen to get involved in this trade. Both women were aware of the services they were supposed to offer as escorts.”

The SOG has handed over the three accused and the two women to Sayajigunj police station, where the accused will be arrested following Covid test while the women, who are victims in the case, will be sent to a women’s shelter, Solanki said.

Police seized items worth Rs 39,700, including three mobile phones, cash and condoms from the accused, SOG said.

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