40 rescued in Kovai escort services crackdown

Most of the rescued women are aged between 18 and 25. They are either students or employees.
The city police have formed special teams and have intensified investigation following complaints on an increase in escort services from spas and massage centres.
The city police have formed special teams and have intensified investigation following complaints on an increase in escort services from spas and massage centres.(Express Illustrations)

COIMBATORE: A police crackdown on escort services is on in Coimbatore city. More than 40 women have been rescued from the cartel running the racket in the last one month. Based on their statements, the Coimbatore city police in the last fortnight arrested a dozen middlemen who allegedly brought them to the illegal activity.

Most of the rescued women are aged between 18 and 25. They are either students or employees.

The city police have formed special teams and have intensified investigation following complaints on an increase in escort services from spas and massage centres. They are monitoring unauthorised accommodations including service apartments.

“The investigation revealed many young women were lured into it with promises of financial gain,” said a senior officer.

The middlemen involved in sex rackets in the city are now under police scrutiny. “They attract customers through social media and websites and take various steps to avoid police surveillance. We could detect them through decoy operations in many places.

Serviced apartments have proliferated without any restrictions, facilitating their anti-social activities. We are working to frame some guidelines for service apartments and unregistered stay areas from the perspective of crime prevention and plan to bring them under regular surveillance,” said R Stalin, deputy commissioner, Coimbatore City (North).

He added that as a few rescued victims faced bad experiences, steps are being taken to guide the rescued women to lead normal life through proper counselling.

City police commissioner V Balakrishnan said some brokers have been targeting economically weak young women. “During the investigation, we learned they even had lists of students who could not pay their fees. We have intensified surveillance for the safety of women,” he asserted.

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