Hi-tech Prostitution Racket Busted, Youth Arrested
Mangaluru: The Pandeshwar Women police have arrested a youth in connection with a prostitution racket from Soorya Lodge Hampankatta here, on July 21.
The arrested has been identified as Shabari alias Vikram (26), a native of Kadugodu, Bengaluru.
Addressing the mediapersons, police commissioner Chandra Sekhar said that the accused used a website called LOCANTO. He was using the mobile number 8880708075 through which he gave information about the girls to customers.
Shabari was running a catering house and from past two years, he has been running a prostitution centre in and around Bengaluru and Mangaluru. He was using the website LOCANTO to contact customers and was sharing information about the girls.
He would also attend marriages and other functions to trap beautiful girls. Once they became friends, he would push them into prostitution.
The Commissioner said, “Around 15 to 16 women have been the victims of prostitution. After the investigation, we have gathered information that both Manjunath and Shabari were running this hi-tech prostitution racket by using the website LOCANTO, which is based outside the country. LOCANTO is a site which provides all sorts of services. It is increasingly been used for the purpose of prostitution. We have taken all the necessary measures to see that the website will not be used for illegal activities. Because of this website, we are unable to find out exactly where the illegal activities are taking place.”
The operation was carried out under the able leadership of Pandeshwar police inspector Kalavathi along with ASI Poornima and Nagaratna. “We congratulate them for their brave action in nabbing the culprit,” said Sekhar.
The Commissioner announced a cash reward and commendation certificates for PI Kalavathi, ASI Poornima and Nagaratna since the operation was not easy. The accused were changing their location every time and it was very difficult for the police to trace them.
He also said that the photographs of 143 most wanted persons will be released soon so that they can be traced. Most of them are wanted in many cases and have been absconding from many years. Some of the cases are very old and if people come to know about their whereabouts, they can contact the police.
When asked about the identity of the 16 women, Chandra Sekhar said that since they are the victims, their identities could not be revealed. The main issue, in this case, is to stop the website from being used for illegal purposes. There are cases in Bengaluru, Pune, and Kerala where the LOCANTO website has been used for prostitution.
A case has been registered in the Pandeshwar police station. DCP Crime and Traffic Dr Sanjeev Patil, DCP L&O Shantharaju and ACP Uday Nayak were also present.