The Mumbai Crime Branch assisted police in raiding a brothel in Mumbai, India, on Thursday and rescued 13 girls.
Prior to the raid, the Indian Rescue Mission received a tip about two minor girls that had been forced into prostitution in Faras, Road, Mumbai. They forwarded the information to police, who then raided the brothel.
"A team, under the supervision of Mr. Vasant Dobhale, the Assistant Commissioner of the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police, along with our organization, raided the area and rescued the girls. A case of illegal trafficking has since been registered at the Nagpada Police Station and charges under the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA) were applied," said James Varghese, founder of Indian Rescue Mission (IRM) and a special correspondent for the ASSIST News Service in India, in a statement.
Twelve girls were trafficked from West Bengal state and another girl was from Bihar, according to the IRM.
Five people were arrested in connection with the raid. The police seized cash worth approximately $8,000 USD during the raid, Christiannewstoday.com reported.
"The rescued girls are now in a shelter home and our intervention follow up team is supporting them," said Varghese, according to the Christian site. "There is a possibility that at least 5 of the 13 girls are minors. The court has asked to conduct the medical tests of the girls for age verification. The tests will reveal if they are minors or not."
"I was brought to the city with a false promise of job," one rescued girl whose identity was protected told ANS. "I was told by the trafficker that I would be paid well in the city and I would have to do household chores. I agreed to it because of my family situation. I lost my father when I was a child and my mother became sick and bed ridden."
The girl then describes the horrific moment she realized she had become a sex slave.
"At first, I did not know where I was but one day in the brothel 4-5 goons came inside my room and forced me for sex and then raped me. I fell unconscious and when I got up my whole dress and body was stinking with blood. I could not believe my own eyes when I saw what had happened to me. Then the brothel owner told me to take some rest and said that everything would be 'alright.' Soon, they told me that my work would be attending customers for sex and they also told me that I should work for them until my debt was repaid."
"They told me that the person who brought me to Mumbai sold me for the equivalent of $2,000 USD. They warned me to never think of running away from this place until I had repaid the money," the girl added.