Chronicle of a rescue

 In Human trafficking, Trata de personas, Uncategorized

A few days ago we announced the rescue of two girls who were being sexually exploited. This is the story of this rescue.

In the beginning of May we received news about two girls who were being sexually exploited in a small hotel in Virar East, a district in north Bombay.

Upon learning of the case, the first step was to confirm the information with the police and prepare to deploy a rescue operation together with the local police. A few days before the actual operation, we made an incognito visit to the hotel in order to prepare the ground for the rescue.

This was the day of the rescue:

May 12, 10:00 a.m.

The Mumbai Smile Rescue Team is launched, meeting with the police inspector in charge of the operation and the informant. We know that the person in charge of the hotel is the main suspect and a female accomplice.

12:10 p.m.
The plan to follow is confirmed. Three teams will be formed: in the first, three men from the Mumbai Smiles team will act as decoys and pose as customers. Another team, made up of two Mumbai Smiles members and two police officers, will cover the outside of the hotel in case the suspects flee. The third team, made up of the inspector and three agents, will enter the hotel to identify and question the suspects.

2:20 p.m.
The first decoy team enters the hotel and reserves two rooms. At the reception, they indicate that they want to hire two girls. They ask if they can be minors, since there were suspicions that the hotel facilitated the services of girls. But the person in charge of the hotel says that at that moment they only have girls of legal age.

3:50 p.m.
Two girls go up to the rooms. The decoy team orders some refreshments and snacks and strike up a normal conversation with them, as if they were customers, to keep the situation realistic.

5:30 p.m.
The third team enters the hotel. They order the closed circuit television to be turned off, they confiscate the mobile phones of all the personnel and block the escape routes. The hotel staff are led into a room, where they are questioned one by one and their statements are taken.

7:00 p.m.
Once that part of the operation is secured, the third team goes up to the rooms of the decoy team, who identify themselves and explain the situation to the two girls.

8:00 p.m.
The police collect evidence, statements from the victims showing that they have been forced into prostitution, and the owner of the hotel is arrested. The suspected woman is not in the hotel at the time, but information is obtained from her to locate and arrest her.

The two rescued girls undergo a first physical and psychological health examination by specialized members of the Mumbai Smiles team. And then they are moved to a shelter of the public network for their security.

From Mumbai Smiles, we have made ourselves available to the administration to facilitate orientation and rehabilitation activities. Also, as usual in the rescues we carry out, Mumbai Smiles will appear as private prosecution and/or witnesses in the case against the people detained in this operation.

The girls have been lucky because they have survived sexual exploitation and trafficking. They have a future to build ahead of them, the possibility of recovering their lives and being free. We will work so that this case does not go unpunished and we will accompany them on this path.

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