Hyderabad: Cyberabad cops to shut sites promoting prostitution

Hyderabad: The Cyberabad police will seek help of cyber experts from the newly launched Centre of Excellence for Cyber Safety (CoECS) to help pull down websites promoting prostitution and related activities in the city.

Stephen Raveendra, Cyberabad commissioner of police said that organisers of prostitution rings are heavily spending to expand their reach using online platforms like websites, social media platforms and mobile phone based applications to carry out their illegal activities.

“Pictures and videos of the women along with charges are furnished on the websites created especially for the purpose of the organizing prostitutions. The experts at the CoECS will fight the menace and remove the URLs or block it,” he told reporters after a press conference a day earlier.

The Cyberabad police had busted a prostitution rescuing over 14000 victims. .

The experts at the CoECS helped the Cyberabad police with the cybercrime aspects of the online prostitution racket organized in the tri commissionerates of Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda. A total of 17 organizers who were on the run for two to three years and involved in several PITA cases were arrested during the two month long operations done by the Anti-Human Traffic Unit of Cyberabad police.

The AHTU sleuths found around 50 percent of the 14100 women who were allegedly forced into prostitution are from West Bengal, followed by Karnataka (20 per cent), Maharashtra (15), Delhi (7) and other States (5). Women from foreign countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Russia and other countries are also victims in the rackets run by the organizers.  

“The 14k figure was reached after analyzing the call data records of mobile phones, online transactions, Whatsapp communications and phone numbers found with the organizers. A Three tier network starting from the broker to middleman/organizer and customer was managed through Whatsapp groups. Each dedicated to make a hassle free communication setup,” said Stephen Raveendra.

The brokers in the foreign countries post the pictures of the women in the whatsapp groups in which prostitution organizers are members. The member selects a woman and strikes a deal with the broker to arrange her travel to his country by arranging a tourist visa. Once they land the women are sent to some and later to customers,” said Cyberabad Commissioner of Police, Stephen Raveendra.

Dedicated full -fledged call centers were functioning from Delhi, Bengaluru and Delhi. The call centers personnel took the call from customers and directed them to the local organizers. The business marketing was done through websites, online advertisement portals and other social media platforms.

“Women are shown a luxurious life, travelling by a plane from one destination to the other in India, something of a new experience for many of the girls/women from poor families. The women are given drugs to keep them high and get adaptive to their new lifestyle. Many women and girls are from poor economic backgrounds and a few from families facing hardship,” said another police official with regard to their investigation into the case.

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