Seedy parlours on radar after sex racket bust

KOLKATA: The and of a woman at a parlour in Kyd Street has blown the lid off illegal sex rackets thriving under the garb of unisex salons and massage parlours in the city. A day after three persons were arrested for cheating, gang rape and forced prostitution, officers of every station on Sunday were asked to form special teams to make a list of beauty and massage parlours in their areas, check what goes on inside and conduct raids at the suspicious places.

In the early hours of Saturday, a 30-year-old woman from Tiljala alleged that she was gang-raped before being pushed into sex trade by a group operating the Moon Unisex Beauty Parlour on Kyd Street. A preliminary police probe has found a number of such parlours around Lenin Sarani, SN Banerjee Road, Bentinck Street, Creek Row and MG Road. Cops said that on Sunday, most of those parlours were closed.

“We will run a sustained check on these parlours,” said an officer.

Explaining the modus operandi in such sex rackets, an officer said, the parlours keep one or two men in the front who operate as pimps. Even if a customer is unaware of the thriving business inside, these men give them enough hint about presence of prostitutes. On most occasions, they take the customers either to a secluded portion of the parlour or lead them to a mezzanine floor that often has small rooms. The rates range from Rs 500 to several thousands.

At Kyd Street, locals said, the parlour had been open for more than four years and they alleged that cops knew everything about it.

“It is impossible that cops were unaware of the sex racket in the parlour. We lodged multiple complaints, but police did nothing even after several visits,” said local resident Md Manzar.

Police said they were scanning the cellphones of the trio and have found obscene photographs and videos of multiple women. They suspect the accused used them to blackmail the women into prostitution. While the three employees, including a woman, were sent to judicial custody, the cops are on the look out for the main owners — Seema and Nagendra Malik. Police believe the two have fled to another state and officers are scanning their mobile phone tower locations to track them down.
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