Great success of Mumbai smiles in rescuing the victims of human trafficking

 In Human trafficking, Women

Last month, our rescue team in Mumbai saved 9 girls from the trafficking network. 

The rescue operation of the victims of human trafficking

Since 2020, at Mumbai Smiles we have a team that is responsible for investigating possible cases of exploitation and victims of trafficking to later carry out a rescue operation. This intervention is always coordinated jointly with local authorities: the police and specific anti-human trafficking units.

In any operation there is prior data collection work to identify possible victims who are being forced into prostitution. When all the information is clear, a rescue operation is organized with the support of local agents to try to free the victims. Once rescued, they are transferred to one of the shelters managed by private organizations or by the authorities. There they are offered a safe space in which they can recover.

Rescued a 15 year old girl after the 8 months of disappearance

At the beginning of April and after eight months of intense work, the Mumbai Smiles rescue team was able to collaborate in the rescue of Iniya (not her real name), a girl of only 15 years old, and in the arrest of her kidnaper.

Iniya disappeared on August 20, 2023 in Mumbai and an organization from Govandi, which began working to search for the young woman, referred the case to us. Since then, the team has worked closely with police, local leaders, social workers and other organizations to locate the young woman and bring her to safety. Finally, after months of effort, the culprit was found, a 30-year-old man, who kidnapped Iniya and taken her to Nepal, where he tried to sell her without success and finally took her to Bihar, where he was arrested.

As it turned out, the young woman was deceived by the “Lover boy” method. The kidnaper is an acquaintance of the family who works as a worker in her father’s small factory and fell in love with Iniya and made false promises of marriage so that she would run away with him.

Once transferred to Mumbai, the victim was immediately taken to a local hospital due to her poor health, where she could only be visited by her mother. She herself is now stable after spending two weeks in a shelter home, receiving support and advice. Until the moment of her kidnapping, Iniya was studying seventh grade at a local school and thanks to the intervention of the Mumbai Smiles team, the school management is going to allow her to take her exams in June and start eighth grade next year.

Tres vidas salvadas en Nalasopara

On April 27, we participated in a rescue operation in Nalasopara, a city located in the north of the metropolitan region of Bombay, in the state of Maharashtra.


Rescued victims of human trafficking

An informant in this region informed us of a possible case and our team traveled there to carry out the operation together with the police. The raid took place at a beauty and massage center, where girls were being exploited. After a member of our rescue team posed as a client and got the pimp to introduce him to a girl, he notified the police to enter the premises.

With this operation, three girls aged 23, 24 and 44 were rescued and a 24-year-old person accused of human trafficking was arrested. After 11 hours of operation, the victims are safe in a shelter and the accused is in jail.

Five exploited girls rescued from a rental place

On May 8, the last rescue took place, in which we were able to free 5 girls who were being exploited in a house run by an older woman.

Thanks to an informant, the Bombay Smiles rescue team was able to learn about the case of a woman who was engaged in sexual exploitation and human trafficking in her rented house. The woman, 63 years old and very poor, made a living practicing prostitution at home and she also attracted vulnerable girls and boys by offering them work and easy money. After retaining these girls, she forced them into prostitution to earn more money.

After weeks of collecting evidence and information, on May 8 the rescue team, together with local authorities, entered the house and managed to rescue five women between 22 and 45 years old. Currently, all of them have returned to their families and are safe.


Victim of human trafficking in the shelter home

At Mumbai Smiles we are very proud of our work, both in the prevention and in the intervention and rescue of cases of victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Thanks to our team working on the ground, who have been rescued 66 victims of human trafficking since 2020.

Thanks to your collaboration we can continue freeing women and girls who are victims of exploitation and fighting so that others don’t fall into the networks of trafficking.

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