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Published: Friday December 23, 2011 MYT 2:32:00 PM

Mumbai cops stop Indian sex workers heading to Southeast Asia

NEW DELHI: Mumbai police have exposed a flesh trade racket involved in sending bar girls to Southeast Asian cities to work as entertainers and sex workers for rich clients.

The girls were allegedly sent to hotels in Malaysia and Singapore, and West Asia under the pretext of being singers, said police, after rescuing six girls in India's financial capital.

"Most girls are former bar dancers. They are carefully screened before being selected and even given an audition in a studio where they are photographed," said Vasant Dhobale, city's Assistant Police Commissioner of the Social Service Branch, reported the Asian Age Friday.

Police apprehended the girls at the Mumbai international airport on Wednesday and recovered passports from the syndicate that revealed they had visited Malaysia and Singapore, said the paper.

Only a pimp was arrested during the police operation while the syndicate's mastermind was not traceable.

"Girls are sent in batches of six to 10 every 10 days. They are provided either tourist visas or work permits, claiming they are going abroad as dance artistes," added Dhobale.

Once the girls return home after their assignment, the pimps collect 40% as their commission.

Over 50,000 girls working as dancers in Mumbai, Maharashtra's capital, went unemployed after the state banned dance bars in 2005 to curb sex trade and human trafficking. - Bernama

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