Photo of Kashvi* captured during the operation
April 13, 2022 Update: 3 additional arrests, 2 more rescues, and the end of a network!
Operation Grandmother: The woman behind a ring of traffickers in India in which women are forced into prostitution by men posing as boyfriends has been arrested.
When you think of a kingpin trafficker, who do you picture? Perhaps someone sinister with an imposing brow?
Do you picture an elderly woman, hair neatly pulled back, looking for all the world like somebody’s grandmother?
That’s what Kashvi looks like.
In December, we told you about the rescue of Aashni the very day she was caught in Kashvi’s trap. Her boyfriend — actually a trafficker — tricked Aashni into leaving Bangladesh to take a job at one of Kashvi’s hotels in India. But law enforcement and BRAVO team were waiting. They’d tracked Kashvi from a city five hours north where she had been operating as a sex trafficker. They arrested 3 traffickers and liberated Aashni.
But Kashvi got away.
BRAVO team and law enforcement weren’t willing to give up. Kashvi’s operations went silent for a month, but BRAVO team kept watching and waiting.
When they finally located Kashvi, it was in a city 3 hours to the west — once again selling women against their will. In a highly coordinated operation, law enforcement agencies from 3 different states, with the help of BRAVO team, raided the establishment and arrested Kashvi.
What’s more, they liberated 2 women who both had been tricked into taking jobs with Kashvi by traffickers posing as boyfriends.
Despite the danger it could pose to her, one of these survivors bravely gave a statement — including information on the locations of other brothels Kashvi was running.
Thanks to this lead, BRAVO team and law enforcement stayed on the case. After a month of investigating, they found 3 more of Kashvi’s brothels. This time, they weren’t in city hotels. They were small establishments on the roadsides next to sugar cane farms.
They raided all 3 the same night when the dark of the countryside was thick. Law enforcement was able to arrest 3 traffickers and liberate 3 women. The women, none of whom had ever gone to school, had been there for 3 days.
One trafficker ran and got away — tragically taking a Bangladeshi victim with him. However, BRAVO team still won’t give up. They’re currently searching for this girl and trafficker, along with local law enforcement, with whom they’ve partnered in this region for 7 years.
All five women rescued in these operations are now in government safe homes. The traffickers are facing trial.
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*Names and images are representative.