Gauree Malkarnekar| TNN |
The men, who flew in for their friend’s bachelor party, landed in Goa with a “contact” in hand. After booking into a hotel in the North Goa beach belt, they called up the “contact” and made enquiries for five girls.
The man promised to revert soon. For the next few hours, the group waited in anticipation while the man got busy verifying the cellphone number of the customer. Having established the caller was genuinely from Delhi, the man called back, this time demanding they send a photograph of each of their Aadhaar cards via WhatsApp. He also wanted a photo of their room keys with the hotel tag attached to it.
Baffled, the Delhi group complied. At the other end began a detailed background check on the men, including a survey of the area near the hotel premises for any impending danger.
The “danger” is from police who are cracking down on flesh trade in the state. Agents and pimps don’t want to leave anything to chance and verify customers’ identity with Aadhaar card to ensure they are not police decoys.
“Even after so many checks, the number of girls demanded will not be delivered. Pimps refrain from supplying many girls at once because if 5-10 of them are caught in one police raid, their entire earning collapses,” says a police officer.
Many tourists arrive in Goa lured by websites and social media forums promising escorts and call girls. “Ninety per cent of these cases end up with the tourist being cheated,” says an officer, and explains the gangs’ modus operandi: “The pimp points to a girl standing on a balcony who waves to the customer. The customer pays around Rs 4,000 to the pimp. The tourist is then asked to go up to the room. When he knocks, nobody opens the door. Hearing the banging on the door, those from neighbouring apartments come out (possibly planted by the pimps), and make a noise, forcing the tourist to leave.”