How a sex-trafficking gang trapped girls through ‘TikTok’

'One of them has told us that he has already sent 1,000 girls and women to India.'

According to reports, the Dhaka police have arrested at least 11 people on Tuesday for being suspected members of a Bangladeshi trafficking gang. Sources state that the gang was running an underground operation that lured girls and women into India’s sex trade using the social media platform TikTok.

The Operation Details of the Trafficking Gang

Bangladesh’s Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) paramilitary unit stated:

The gang’s alleged ringleader Rafizul Islam Ridoy — nicknamed “TikTok Ridoy” — would lure young girls from TikTok and other social media groups to visit, promising to make them TikTok models.

Dhaka police deputy commissioner Mohammad Shahidullah said:

Since 2019 when TikTok became popular in Bangladesh, such gangs sprung up to draw in teenagers from low-income families. These traffickers invite girls and women to pool parties to star in TikTok videos. They market the idea of “well-paid salaries in call centers, sales and service centers, and modeling and showbiz careers” to the females to lure them into the trap.

Sources state that as soon as the victims would reach the decided location, they were kidnapped,  carefully smuggled into southern India, and forced into sex work by the sex-trafficking gang.

The sex-trafficking operation was unearthed when video footage of an alleged sexual assault of a Bangladeshi woman went viral on social media in late May. The disturbing clip prompted an investigation into the gang,  resulting in 11 suspects being arrested.

Investigation into the Matter

RAB officials stated that the majority of the suspects were detained last week. However, the latest arrests came on Monday. Two men were taken into custody in a southwestern border district in Bangladesh for allegedly trafficking girls and women aged between 17 to 22.

Dhaka police’s deputy commissioner Mohammad Shahidullah said:

One of them has told us that he has already sent 1,000 girls and women to India.

A total of nine people were arrested in Bangladesh during the last week, including the alleged gang leader Ridoy. Two other suspects were arrested from India’s tech hub Bangalore for allegedly being part of the trafficking gang this week.

Bangalore city police commissioner Kamal Pant stated:

Four other people have also been arrested and accused of rape or abetting the alleged sexual assault shown in the viral video.

According to reports, all the 11 suspects arrested in the case are Bangladeshi nationals. The suspects are currently being questioned by the Dhaka police.

Note: This is a developing story. Any advancements made in the investigation will be updated in this article timely.

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