Sex racket busted in Mumbai; Bollywood casting director among two arrested

Mumbai, January 21 : A Bollywood production manager and a casting director have been arrested for allegedly forcing three women, including two foreign students, into prostitution, at a plush hotel in the western suburb of Andheri, police said on Tuesday.

This is a fourth such raid in a month, wherein sex rackets connected to Bollywood had been busted by the Mumbai police’s social services branch, an official said.

Production manager Naved Sharif Ahmed Akhtar (26) and casting director Naveed Sadique Sayad (22) were arrested in a raid at Imperial Palace Hotel in Andheri (East) on Monday night, he said.

Acting on a tip-off, the SS branch raided the hotel premises and rescued three women, including two students from Turkmenistan, he added.

On interrogation, the police found that the Turkmenistan nationals had come to India on student visa and were studying at a college in Pune, he said.

The students had come to the city for a shoot, when Akhtar and Sayad befriended them, he said, adding that the accused duo told them to make some ‘adjustments’ if they wished to work in Bollywood.

The accused promised them roles in an advertisement, and accordingly, the two victims came to Mumbai, where they were forced into prostitution, the official said.

The third victim, who is a model, was forced into the trade by a Versova-based woman pimp, who is absconding, he said, adding that the accused were charging Rs 40,000 per woman.

An offence under relevant sections of the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act and Indian Penal Code had been registered against the accused at Andheri police station, the official said.

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