Kerala police arrest woman over Sharjah sex racket


By Ashraf Padanna /Thiruvananthapuram

Police in Kerala have arrested the daughter of a woman wanted in connection with a sex racket in the Gulf.
The arrest of Shahiya, the daughter of Saudha, is the first in the case registered four years ago.
She has been charged with violating emigration rules and illegal recruitment of women.
Some 300 young women from Kerala recruited for menial jobs in the Gulf are believed to be trapped in sex trade.
The Kerala High Court last week pulled up the police for the slow progress in the investigation into the Gulf-based sex rackets run by Keralites.
The case was registered on August 20, 2007 following a complaint by a 30-year-old woman from Pathanamthitta who escaped from the sex racket in Sharjah and returned home with the help of aid workers. 
But the investigation was conducted only for 20 days and no attempts were made to locate the people mentioned by the victim. There had been no effort to ensure effective custodial interrogation of Soudha, who took the victim abroad and forced her into a sex racket.
The police have been accused of helping Soudha to flee the country after preliminary investigation. Inspector General of Police K Padmakumar suspended five police officers, including a female circle inspector, for lapses in investigation following the court rap and public anger.
The IGP told the court the police had taken statements of the victim and he found that none of the officers had investigated the case satisfactorily and there were serious lapses on the part of the officers.
The investigation officers had not taken steps to verify the statement given by the suspect or subject her to scientific methods such as a polygraph test and ensure the presence of the suspect in the country.
The police filed the final report in the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court, Pathanamthitta, describing the case as ‘undetected’.
The case is now being investigated by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Organised Crime Wing of the Crime Branch.
Two months back, the victim who was offered a job in a supermarket by Saudha and was kept captive in a flat and sexually abused by several people, moved the high court narrating the shocking experience she had to undergo.
She also sought the intervention of Kerala government and also steps to rescue several others women trapped in the United Arab Emirates.