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How young Kenyan women are forced into sex slavery in India

Police in India are investigating an incident in which four Kenyan women were given tourist visas but ended up in shelters in Chennai where they were forced into prostitution.

On Tuesday, 30 May 2023, Mylapore police in India arrested two people identified as M. Kannan, 31, of Salem and P. Saravanaraj, 43, of Alandur after rescuing the four women who had been forced into sex slavery.

The two suspects were charged in court and sent to jail for running the commercial sex racket from a shelter in the city.

Speaking to the media, the police said they had received a tip-off from the public about the lodge where hundreds of women were kept.

“A team inspected the lodge and found women in some of the rooms. The team then arrested the lodge’s manager, M. Kannan of Salem district, and the owner, P. Saravanaraj of Alandur. The two were produced before a judicial magistrate and sent to jail,’ reported Bhaskar Live, an Indian news website.

Also read: Kenya listed among countries with worst modern slavery practices

The officers found the Kenyan women stranded on the streets of Chennai and asked them what they were doing.

They found that they had been thrown out of a lodge on C.V. Raman Road in Chennai, where they had been taken after arriving in India from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

The officers went straight to the lodge and when they tried to make enquiries, the two suspects denied any knowledge of the matter.

However, further investigation proved otherwise after they learned that the women had been staying there for a month and were being subjected to prostitution.

“The police found out that the four women were brought to Chennai from Kenya, kept there and forced into prostitution rackets. The four women were brought to Chennai on tourist visas and the visa of one of the women had expired,” international media reported.

A crackdown is currently underway, with police hoping to nab more suspects in lodges and motels across India.

Also read: Two Somali nationals held for selling compatriot to slavery in Libya