Three Rescued – Three Arrested
Moments leading up to the operation are tense. There is always an amount of uncertainty that comes with any sting. On this rescue in Mumbai, India some Jump Team members are outfitted with hidden cameras in their backpacks, watches or fanny packs, not only to capture the “take-down” for Operation Underground Railroad, but to be used later on when prosecuting the pimps.
Every movement of the operation is planned and executed precisely. Jump Team members nonchalantly walk into the hotel lobby and spot the victims in the lounge nearby. They are at the table closest to the exit trying to look like a normal family but they aren’t fooling O.U.R. or our NGO partner, James, with the Indian Rescue Mission. There are six of them; three minor girls, the pimp who brokered the deal, dressed head to toe in a black burke with only a slit for her eyes, and another woman and a man who are accompanying her.
This undercover operation all began when James from IRM put word out on the street that he was expecting some friends from out of town for a visit and wanted to show them a good time. Eventually, he was approached by a pimp who showed him a number of photographs of women, however, James told the pimp that he was looking for something more “exotic” or “fresher.” The pimps were easily able to fill that order providing some of the youngest girls in their control.
The take down comes soon after spotting the “family” in the hotel lounge. James walks over to them and starts a conversation. Soon after, law enforcement closes in, arresting the pimps and rescuing the three minor girls who are taken into the care of social services. They are treated as victims rather than prostitutes and are under their protection.
There are no updates on the girls at this time as social services is keeping them away from the public, however, O.U.R. is working with other entities to ensure these girls get an education and develop employable skills so that they will not be vulnerable to human traffickers again.
The real surprise in this operation, however, came with the discovery that the arrested male pimp was, in fact, an Executive Officer for the Anti Corruption Intelligence Committee. No one anticipated this but it has certainly opened up the investigation into corruption as well as human trafficking in Mumbai. And that’s a win/win for O.U.R. and its partners.
Written by: Cheryl L. Karr