Bhubaneswar: The Special Task Force (STF) of Odisha Crime Branch on Tuesday arrested the mastermind of a sex racket that trafficked Bangadeshi women to Odisha.
The accused, SK Ibrahim, and his wife Anjali were apprehended from Danagohiri under Pipili police limits.
Six Bangladeshi women, who were staying in a rented house at Old Town here, were rescued later in the day. They are currently being questioned at an undisclosed location to elicit further details about the flesh trade, sources said.
The house owner was reportedly kept in dark about the identity of the women when Ibrahim and Anjali took his house on Rs 600 a month rent. They had moved into the house about two to three months back.
“Two women were staying here and one of them had identified herself as a nurse while another was doing some tailoring job. I had no idea about the other girls,” said the owner of the house.
The entire racket was busted after a woman lodged a complaint of sexual assault against two men at Laxmi Sagar police station on December 17. She had accused a hotel manager, Mithun Swain, and a housekeeping staffer, Bhubaneswar Patra, of misbehaving with her and physically assaulting her. Subsequent probe revealed that the girl was a sex worker and a Bangladeshi national. She had come to Odisha using a fake Aadhaar card, which she also admitted during interrogation.
Another sex worker had accused Anjali, who was popularly known as ‘Didi’, of engaging girls in the flesh trade after bringing them from Bangladesh on the pretext of providing jobs.
Since then the couple had been under the scanner of the Crime Branch.
Anjali earlier worked for Sunil Meher, the alleged kingpin of the sex trade. Later, she started running the racket on her own with help of her husband, the sources added.